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Celan and deconstruction

In La bête et le souverain 10 Derrida makes a close reading of Celan's Büchner prize acceptance speech Le méridien showing what is at stake when Celan invokes the voice and the time of the other that constitutes his poetics. Few years before receiving the prize, Celan wrote a short prose called Entretien dans la montagne which introduces the issue of the voice of the other. Celan makes a distinction between the language said to no one, that language without me and you, and the discourse addressed to someone, said to someone. Stéphane Moses, commenting Celan's text, compares his distinction with the one by Benveniste, récit and discours, the latter being the language of the dialogues where voices are coupled one to the other and the former that language of the impersonal description. In the text, two Jews, Gross and Klein meet up and talk. At some point they consider the earth and the language used to talk about it:

"un langage qui n'est fait ni pour toi ni pour moi - car, je le demande, pour qui est-elle conçue, la terre, elle n'est conçue ni pour toi ni pour moi - un langage, eh bien oui, sans Je et sans Tu, rien qu'Il, rien que Ça, comprends-tu, rien qu'Ils, et seulement cela.
- Je comprends, je comprends. Puisque je suis venu de loin, puisque je suis venu comme toi.
- Pourquoi et dans quel but... Peut-être parce qu'il m'a fallu m'adresser à quelqu'un avec ma bouche et avec ma langue et pas seulement avec mon bâton. Car à qui s'adresse-t-il, le bâton? Il s'adresse à la pierre, et la pierre, à qui s'adresse-t-elle?
- À qui donc, cousin, veux-tu qu'elle s'adresse? Elle ne s'adresse pas, elle parle, et celui qui parle, cousin, ne s'adresse à personne, il parle parce que personne ne l'écoute, personne et Personne, et puis il dit, lui et non sa bouche et non sa langue, lui et seulement lui, dit: Entends-tu?"(Entretien dans la montagne, Editions Verdier, 2004, 13-15).

I take this opposition between the language of you and me and that of it and they and this is one of the basis of the idea of deconstruction. The effort is to make written text speak by considering it among different voices. To place text in a dialogue that is not aimed at eliminating the voices in favor of an impersonal discourse - the ultimate truth of the text. It is not a gesture towards an impersonal truth but rather towards a personal justice - personal in the sense of justice among people but also in the sense of lack of permanence for deconstruction is non-ending as new genuine voices can always emerge. Deconstruction is the effort to place philosophy and philosophical texts in something like the Me-You language that Celan talks about. It is about believing in the ultimate need for dialogues.


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