Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Pas de sens . . .

“What comes to pass in a sacred text is the occurrence of a pas de sens. And this event is also the one starting from which it is possible to think the poetic or literary text which tries to redeem the lost sacred and there translates itself as in its model. Pas de sens – that does not signify poverty of meaning but no meaning that would be itself, meaning, beyond any ‘literality.’ And right there is the sacred. The sacred surrenders itself to translation, which devotes itself to the sacred. The sacred would be nothing without translation, and translation would not take place without the sacred; the one and the other are inseparable.”

“the sacred text . . . is the absolute text because in its event it communicates nothing, it says nothing that would make sense beyond the event itself. . . . It is literally the literality of its tongue, ‘pure language’. . . . There is only letter, and it is the truth of pure language, the truth as pure language.”

(Jacques Derrida, Des Tours de Babel. Trans. Joseph F. Graham)

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