Read After Burning, I pray You, or la carte posthume



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Richar Burt1
Read After Burning, I Pray You, or la carte posthume::

Derrida Destroyed . . . Derrida Archived . . . Derrida Published . . . Derrida Perished [Ableben] . . . Derrida Died [Sterben] . . . Derrida Survived [Uberleben] . . . Derrida Posted . . . “Jacques Said . . .”


This is literature without literature.

Postcard, 197

Hence, if my letters and the like could be important at all, no collection of them should be published since such a collection only serves the curiosity and the comfort of those who want to evade the ask of thinking.

--Martin Heidegger, “On Preserving What Is Attempted”2

What would happen if the pack of the curious once throws itself at the “posthumous works”! It cannot be expected from this commotion grasp anything at all or to transform what is grasped into the futural. [G428] For the gang of the curious only longs for that which completes this gang’s own already established calculation and confirms it in each case.

--Martin Heidegger, “On Preserving What Is Attempted,” in Mindfulness (Besinnung). trans. Parvis Emad and Thomas Kalary, Continuum, 2006, 270-78, to 277.
If deep down these “posthumous works” do not possess the power of ‘letting-go-ahead’ [Vorlassen]—do not posses[sic] the power of path-opening-grasping-ahead into an entirely other and quite drawn-out questioning—these “posthumous works” would not be worth being pondered upon. The mere enlargement of what is already published is superfluous.

--Martin Heidegger, “On Preserving What Is Attempted,” in Mindfulness (Besinnung). trans. Parvis Emad and Thomas Kalary, Continuum, 2006, 270-78, to 277.


One day, please, read me no more, and forget that you have read me.

--Jacques Derrida, The Post Card1


We cannot develop this analysis here; it is to be read elsewhere.

--Jacques Derrida, Post Card2


“And moreover, says J. J., a postcard is a publication.”

James Joyce, Ulysses3


A hundred similar instances go to show that the MS. so inconsiderately published, was merely a rough note-book, meant only for the writer's own eye, but an inspection of the pamphlet will convince almost any thinking person of the truth of my suggestion. The fact is, Sir Humphrey Davy was about the last man in the world to commit himself on scientific topics. . . . I verily believe that his last moments would have been rendered wretched, could he have suspected that his wishes in regard to burning this 'Diary' (full of crude speculations) would have been unattended to; as, it seems, they were. I say 'his wishes,' for that he meant to include this note-book among the miscellaneous papers directed 'to be burnt,' I think there can be no manner of doubt. Whether it escaped the flames by good fortune or by bad, yet remains to be seen.

--Edgar Allan Poe, “Von Kempelen and His Discovery” (1850) 4


What must we do to allow a text to live?

“Living On [Survivance],” Parages5
At about the same time as Descartes, Pascal discovered the logic of the heart in contrast to the logic of calculating reason. The interior and the invisible of the heart’s space is not only more inward than the interior of calculating presentation, and therefore more invisible, but at the same time it also reaches further than the realms of objects that are merely produced. Only in the invisible innermost of the heart does man tend towards that which is to be loved: ancestors, the dead, childhood, those who are coming.

--Martin Heidegger, “Why Poets,” in Off the Beaten Track6


Those who remain will not know how to read.

--Jacques Derrida, The Post Card7


Le spasme terrible d’éffouliment subi tout a l’heure peut se reproduire au cours de la nuit et avoir raison de moi. Alors, vous ne vous étonnerez pas que je pense au monceau demi-séculaire de mes notes, lequel ne vous deviendra qu’un grand embarrass; attend que pas un Feuillet n’en peut server. Moi-même, l’unique pourrais seul en tirer ce qu’il y a. . . . je l’eusse fait si le dernières années manquant me n’avaient trahi. Brûlez, par-conséquant: il n’y a pas d’héritage littéraire, mes pauvres enfants. Ne soumettez même pas à l’appréciation de quelqu’un: ou refusez toute ingérence curieuse ou amicable. Dites qu’on n’y distingeurait rien. C’est vrai de reste , et, vous, mes pauvres prostrées, les seul êtres au monde capabale a ce point de respecter toute en vie d’artiste sincere, croyes que ce devait être tres beau.

Ainisi, je ne laisse un papier inédit excepté quelques bribes imprimées que vous trouverez puis le Coup de Dés8 et Héroiodae terminé s’il plait au sort.

-- Stéphane Mallarmé, “A Marie et Genvieve Mallarmé [le 8 septembre, 1898]

Recommendation quant a mes Papiers

(Pour quand le liront mes chéries)” 9
Hölderlin is the forerunner of the poets in a desolate time. That is why no poet can overtake him. The forerunner, however, does not go away into a future, rather he arrives from it in such a way that in the advent [Ankunft] of his words alone the future [Zukunft] presences. The more purely the advent takes place, the more essentially, the more essenced, it remains. . . . That is why it would be erroneous to say that Hölderlin’s time would arrive come only when “everyone” understands his poetry. It will never come in such a deformed way. . . . What has merely passed away is already, in advance of its passing away, without destiny. What has been in an essential way, by contrast, is the destining. In what we suppose is eternity, something merely transitory [Vergängliches] has been concealed, but away into the void of a now without duration.”

--Martin Heidegger, “Why Poets,” in Off the Beaten Track [Holzwege] 10


What is at stake in analytic discourse is always the following—you give a different reading to the signifiers that are enunciated . . . than what they signify . . . In your analytic discourse, you assume that the subject of the unconscious knows how to read, but you assume that it can learn how to read. The only problem is that what you teach it to read has absolutely nothing to do with what you can write about it.

--Jacques Lacan, “The Function of the Written,” On Feminine Sexuality, the Limits of Love and Knowledge: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan Encore XX 1972-1973), 37 Ed. Bruce Fink, Jacques-Alain Miller.3


The strange nature of posthumous publications is to be inexhaustible.

--Maurice Blanchot, "The Last Word," in Friendship4

Courage! Courage, now! You need heart and courage to think . . . the living dead.

--Jacques Derrida, The Beast and the Sovereign Vol. 211


No dead person has ever said their last word.

--Helene Cixous, Or, les lettres de mom pere12

[. . .] J’arrive donc le dernier, une fois encore, avec ma letter, apres la fete.

--Jacques Derrida

The posthumous is becoming the very element mixes in everywhere with the air we breathe . . .

--Jacques Derrida, The Beast and the Sovereign 2, op cit, 181 (258) and 179 (256).

This is what I dream . . . Before my death I would give orders. If you aren’t there, my body is to be pulled out of the lake and burned, my ashes are to be sent to you, the urn well protected (“fragile”) but not registered, in order to tempt fate. This would be an envoi of / from me un envoi de moi which no longer would come from me (or an envoi come from me, who would have ordered it, but no longer an envoi of / from me, as you like). And then you would enjoy mixing my ashes with what you eat (morning coffee, brioche, tea at 5 o’clock, etc.). After a certain dose, you would start to go numb, to fall in love with yourself, I would watch you slowly advance toward death , you would approach me within you with a serenity that we have no idea of, absolute reconciliation. And you would give orders . . . While waiting for you I’m going to sleep, you’re always there, my sweel love.

The Postcard, 19613
Before my death I would give orders. If you aren’t there, my body is to be pulled out of the lake [lac] and burned, my ashes are to be sent to you, the urn well protected (‘fragile’) but not registered, in order to tempt fate. This would be an envois of / from me [an envoi de moi] which no longer would come from me (or an envoi sent by me, who would have ordered it, but no longer an envoi of me as you like). And then you would enjoy mixing my cinders with what you eat (morning coffee, bricohe, tea at 5 o’clock, etc.). After a certain dose you would start to go numb, to fall in love with yourself, I would watch you slowly advance towards death, you would appraoch me within you with a serenity that we have no idea of, absolute reconciliation. And you would give orders . . . While waiting for you I’m going to sleep, you’re always there, my sweel love.”

Jacques Derrida, Cinders (Derrida’s ellipsis)14


Use of ellipses in first line of Passions Post-Scriptum [ . . .] as on the back cover of Papier Machine

Tom MuellerCSI: Italian Renaissance,” Smithsonian magazine, July-August 2013,50-59 http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/CSI-Italian-Renaissance-213878331.html#Italian-Renaissance-female-skeleton-1.jpg Such work is not without its critics, who brand scholars such as Fornaciari as little more than grave-robbers, rejecting their efforts as a pointless, even prurient, disturbance of the dead’s eternal rest. Yet paleo-sleuthing has demonstrated its value for the study of the past and future. As Fornaciari has solved some of history’s oldest riddles and murder mysteries, his work also holds life-and-death relevance.


Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/CSI-Italian-Renaissance-213878331.html#ixzz2Ye6XzvOt

Jane Buikstra Charlotte Roberts, The Global History of Paleopathology:

“there is never a choice between what is to be read in an open book (as visible as the nose in the middle of one’s ‘face’!) and the most hermetic script. It’s the same—insupportable support. I didn’t dare say “like a post card,” the atmosphere was too pious. On the way out, diverse presentations. “With you, one can no longer present oneself,” a young American (I think) woman says to me. She gives me to understand that she has read (before me, therefore, she was just coming from the U.S.) “Moi, la psychanalyse” in which I let play, in English the so difficult-to-translate cvocabulary of presentation, of presentations, of “introductions,” etc. [Me—Psychoanalysis, trnaslated in Psyche Invention of the Other.

The Postcard, 197


Even the dead are not safe from the enemy if he wins “Sixth Thesis on the Philosophy of History” (GS 1.2: 95/SW 4:391) (1988c, 255).
This can’t go on like this

Imperative will always be the question of principle, the question of principles, and the question of the principle—of the principial, of the sovereign prince, and of princedom. Freudian psychoanalysis—psychoanalysis as science, psychoanalysis that never abandons its aim to be a science, although a science apart from others—will have reckoned a lot with principles, as is well known.

Derrida, “Psychoanalysis Searches” Without Alibi, 257

Derrida Glas corpse Hegel mourning burial citizen


Dearrida, I miss you.

The Gelke psassae is in book two SPirt, of The henomenology of Spirit, pp. 269-778. A.V. Miller trans.

Levinas discusses the same passage in “From the Science of Logic to the Phenomenology,” in God, Death, and Time, 79-87; to 83.

Since the Gee text remains to be read, I re-form here its ellipse around two foci: (the) burial place), the liaison between brother and sister. . . . in its essentiality, singularity can only disappear, can posit itself as such only in death. If the family thus has the singularity of its own proper object, it can only busy itself around death. Death it is essential object. Its destination is the cult of the dead; the family must consecrate itself to the reorganization of the burial (place). . . (2142) The pure singularity, stripped but incapable of passing to universality, is the dead—more precisely the name of the dead—is the corpse, the impotent shadow, the negation of the living being-there inasmuch as that singularity has not yet given rise to the life of the citizen. Already dead (as empiric existence), not yet living (as ideal universality). If the family’s thing is pure singularity, one belongs to a family only in busying oneself around the dead: the toilette of the dead, institution of death, wake, monumentalization, archive, heritage, genealogy, classification of proper names, engraving on tombs, burying, shrouding, burial place, funeral song, and so on. . . . Entrusting with death, the guardian of a marrowless body, on the condition that the woman erect his burial place after shrouding the rigid corpse (unction, bandages, etc.), maintaining it thus in a living, monumental, interminable surrection. (143)


What is a corpse? What is it to make a gift of a corpse?

Pure singularity: neither the empiric individual that death destroys, decomposes, analyzes, nor the rational universality of the citizen, of the living subject. (143)



“Haven’t finished vindicating myself to those two suicides (two drownings also, you know what I’m talking about)” Post Card, 196

People Who Die

HENRI-GEORGES CLOUZOT, L’ASSASSIN HABITE AU 21(1942)




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