‘I tell myself I have the ability to love, but it’s all been shut up in a locked room. The life I’ve led has limited my life more and more. And the time has come to change it. The first step is to get a divorce. I think my husband and I hinder each other in some deadly way.’
‘That sounds frightening.’
‘Yes, it’s frightening. Something strange is happening. My senses, sight, hearing, touch are starting to fail me. This table for example, I can see it and touch it. But my feeling is dried-out, shrunken. Do you understand what I mean?’
‘I think I understand.’
‘It’s the same with everything. Music, smells, faces and voices. Everything seems smaller, greyer, without dignity.’
— Bergman, Scenes from a Marriage
‘So you’re not interested in progress, Mr Jastrau. What *are* you interested in?’
It was so unreal, this way of thinking. And it was as if the unreality spread. The buildings on the other side of the street became gathering rainclouds; the oval table, the visiting-card bowl and the hat tree seemed like random pieces of furniture that had been put out on the sidewalk by the king’s bailiff; and there, in those chairs on the sidewalk, sat Vuldum and Father Garhammer, and suddenly it occurred to Jastrau how feminine they both were. Vuldum tall and unrelenting as only a redhead can be, and the priest short and dark, constantly biting his long lips, greedy for a new, bloodless, logical problem; but who are as grim and implacable as old virgins?
‘I’m only really interested in myself’, Jastrau replied cautiously, avoiding Vuldum’s cold smile. ‘That is, in psychology, in what’s at the bottom of the soul, and – well, I’m interested in how I can build up an objective world, a reality.’
— Tom Kristensen, Hærværk (‘Havoc’), my trans.
Are we hearing from Derrida again, does he still live, or is this what is left of him in the words we read and speak? A certain haunting or spectrality is induced through this equivocation, and this equivocation, he tells us, is structural, even originary. We expect survival to come later, as a concept that follows a life, as a predicament we face upon the death of the author, but Derrida tells us, here, at the end of his life, that the predicament was always there and that this equivocation, this question of survival, even this imperative to affirm survival, is there from the outset, built into the language that precedes us.
— Judith Butler (via here)
It, the language, remained, not lost, yes in spite of everything. But it had to pass through its own answerlessness, pass through frightful muting, pass through the thousand darknesses of a death-bent speech. It passed through and gave back no words for that which happened; yet it passed through this happening. Passed through and could come to light again, ‘enriched’ by all this.
— Celan, Bremen Literary Prize Acceptance Speech, 1958