Maddening the Subjectile Author(s): Jacques Derrida and Mary Ann Caws Source: Yale French Studies, No.

84, Boundaries: Writing & Drawing (1994), pp. 154-171 Published by: Yale University Press Stable URL: Accessed: 01/07/2010 20:10
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ence ofa subject. one or theother."He saysexactly invisiblequotationmarks. up the scene: the visibility. He uses thewordoftheothers butperhaps oftheother.JACQUES DERRIDA Maddeningthe Subjectile* werenot I wouldcall thisa scene. oftheobject-being neither AntoninArtaudnames Three times at least." Indirect nomination. allusionto the . in 1932. and 1947. we will be attentive The first a letter on 23 September toAndre oncefor 1932. inwhichwhat likethis:"Herewith a baddrawing Rolland de Reneville me. when Artaudevaluateshis painting from Derridaand Paule Thevenin.ifthere to makelittleofwhatalwayssets a force at workthere already already the presthe elementof representation. . evenan object. All threetimes. Derrida and the 1988).he concludes Artaud). *Thisis an excerpt Artaud: Portraits. Reid. Jacques ofJacques Dessins (Paris:Gallimard.1946. he discourse he will tellit to do something willhaveit saysomething else. can taketheplaceofthesubject thewordorthething or is to speak ofhis own drawings. 154 . rather the subjectile.Withthekindpermission translator. that:"whatis called "whatis called thesubjectile.? 1994byYaleUniversity.thescene ofthesubjectile. of Andaboveall thatwe can or areallowedto?Wewon'ttellthestory some remembered detailsof its coming-to-be.perhaps else.M. to my knowledge. ed. MaryAnnCaws. is it likelythathe reallyspoke about his drawings? Nevertheless. Boundaries: Writing& Drawing. to what onlyhappened time (later. YFS 84. ." is called thesubjectilebetrayed Waita minute:a subjectilecan betray you? or his And let's watch out.

I ?~~~~~~~~~~~~~~PI Jr * l-Xe/L~irt-a I A it \s :. 155 .S. '4 -# . Antonin La Machinede 1itre.I. Artaud. - 'e a Ai AwIt 1. o .

bottomofthe page.the wordcould seem to have been created The recently. Recherche d'unmondeperduand aboveall ofEntendre/voir/lire in Tel Quel 39 (Fall 1969)40 (Hearing/Seeing/Reading) surles motsforges (Winter 1970). dictionaries had notyetadmitted current So in doubt. Betraying "too do to commit He is denouncing treason? In 1932. Antonin thatthedrawing Artaud. thedrawing wordcouldwe haveconfused in With whatother itself. a whole it. (Fall 1983). . First a drawing can be a partof Thisnotetellsus at leasttwothings. vol. do notknowthisrareword." and ofa truth unbearable so thatArtaud sufficiently itnecessary was stronger judged to destroy itssupport. 5. it'scompletely accompanying because he is onlyseparateas the expression physically "partripped in a very off. He certainly 274)." And thento betray can be understood particular sense."(Artaud. different from it. I am thinking in particular ofPauleTh6venin. Translating thesubjectile wouldhavemadethedrawing broaddaylight.It joinswithit a letter. 1.2ndtrimester tonin de l'Abbaye Cahiers Sainte-Croix is notsimple ofthebadreinforces interpretation here: it is not only a questionof out what he is indicting to figure"He reallywrotesubjectile. one of its out the take to fail in one's promise. Whatmusta subjectile some control it anddragging itoutinto theproject as itis thusbetrayed. Villa Arson. it in belittle project.catalogueoftheexhibit Ecritures dans la peinture.(1980). havingdefinitely is said to have takenit away. This latter than the rebelliousone. whileat thesame timerevealing control butbydoingthis. April-June 1984. off the wrote"subjectile. ofa "subjectile" remains thelegitimacy PauleThevenin (who has said everything thathas to be knownaboutArtaud's drawings and tobe whosework I am presuming everyone knows)I judgesitnecessary in theparttornfrom moreprecisein a note: "It's perhaps thisletter was to be found.orofskill.Dessin a regarder Artaud. the graphic 1. formsummingup the 'subjectile'?With "subjecsum.Already in 1932. Nice. said to havesnatched " Paul Thevenin warnsthosewho.Centre nationaldes artsplastiques.See also Notesde travail Artauddansce parAntonin texte surla maladresse sexuellede dieu)in Peinture/Cahiers theori(uncommentaire 1971:Lettre a Henry-Claude Cousseausurles dessinsdAnques. leveledat God. when he speaksbadlyof them("a bad drawing").and because he had not mastered it away. de traviole in Cafe3. be tempted it cause they to confuse might withanother.The indictment is already technique.tearing foundit too revealing.156 Yale French Studies drawings. Artaudis him.

JACQUES DERRIDA 157 not rushing Let's go slowly. and whatis called. standto minglewitheverytile. potentialofall its meandrawing also pulling theil into tobegin sublime. evenbeingcalled. we don'tknowyetwhat"is called"like this"the Perhaps ofthesubjectile. ofa subject." not constitute an object of any knowingand because it can betray. withprojectile. In French. thatis thewomenor tionofdrawing.or thenthe to subjugate who come to suck yourvery substance. A subjectileis first thatis not yeta given. Betweenthe beginning from thedepths evilswho emerge to haunt tile). conjuring. thefiends andsuccubi. itsname.We timewhattheword"subjectile"means. with. them thing thatitis not. like the drawing it draws it seemstooclose to them. sucha word. onlyofwhat "is called" bythisname. subtle.Although the lure of an entireresemblance:the subjectiveand the towards . ofall something to be called. The theile. youto vampires stealwhatis mosttruly yours. a subjectile and thedrawing yet. and the end of theword(sub! theprojectile. and aboveall nota subjectnorthesubjectivity without beinga being. andmakeitprecise: whatis "called thepatience the subjectile"?ForAntoninArtauddoesn'tspeak of the subjectile. This is Artaud'sthought."perhaps. thetwoextremities itself subjecThrough ofa chimera.all thesepersecuting thesupports. andpreferably else: comesacrossas beingsomeoneinstead. it towards the dynamic thisword. or call before moment whenit is not whenit is born. andArtaud's wordsarehaunting family ofbitsand snatchesofwords. thetreason close up. Whatis a subjectile? things.Just its current short withArtaud. denouncing. exorcising. thesubstrata. it can betray. tive. bothbecauseit does not thesubjectility subjectile. and finishing itselfout in the graphic treatment of bodyof his thought working and often a surgery of thesubjectile is a dramaturgy through through. we think we haveknown for a At leastin thislanguage.can.To takeaccountofthecalling. something But the othercan be called something withoutbeing.At thevery receiving ofArtaud situatesthiscoup de force.before even come when it is called.Perhaps it That the subjectileis something. [supp6ts] sorcerers who changetheirsex to get in bed withman. sense. ofhis body. ings. Butso manyother a great words. dictiobelieveit to be contemporaneous Contemporary projectile. learning ofwhatis developing. That's what I can say aboutit to begin calls and something betrays. and thesubstances: Artaud never stopped often through the operanaming.

thatis cardboard.1985) calls the subjectile"the old notionof the subjectile"and refers to JeanClay to whom "we owe its theoretical reestablishment. subjectum.." changing . we spectacular.. 52-55). I refer totheLetters ofPontormo toVarchi. waylying and a Betweenthe beneathand the above. no passage. be traversed (wecall them letthemselves porous.he keepshis orchestration theartist in discovered. as well as from from form. . Here we read: "." Lebensztejn notesherethat"subject. no. the middleofthe twentieth nariesdate it from The orItalian. distinct thing can only Its presumed depthor thickness whichis notrepresentable. manualoperation apparently that Forwe opposejustthosesubjectiles to be traversed? itself permit likeplasters. As for with. in Leonardo present a subject). . hereand there. arereally reactivating they wrong. Sculpture eternal butthiseternity has moreto do withthemarble thing. Once thenuancesthatcardboard harmony giveshavebeen will transport themto his canvas. thematesoggetto. and according to a critetwoclasses ofsubjectile. subbietto. and designates whatis in some notionbelongsto thecode ofpainting a subjectora succubus. edited source. also thatof thatofthewall orofwood.cardboard. The way thecardboard absorbs so readily letshimgetridoftheoil colors. designates rial substance of art.thatis at once a support a or sculpture. . it contrasts Sinceitis rather withthecoldtoneslaid generally golden. when it is organized. The verybeautiful book thatGeorgesDidi-Huberman just published withthe titlePaintingIncarnate(Paris:Minuit. negligence.c... To write according translatable. ." "Pontormo's arguhe adds. ofCarrara than quarries withthevalueoftheArtist. secondyear. becauseitis a better for andthissubject.2 French an old word.. down andgives them themostexquisite finesse.A sortofskinwithholes for oftextiles paper. Pierre witha seeming lets thissubjectile showthrough Bonnard.158 Studies Yale French But theyare century. noisy. aboutwhicheverything letsus supposethatArtaud hadreadit.2. Evenbetter.butalready be seenas a surface. Paule Thevenin ered. facilitates his research. alloys) (metalsortheir paper)andtheothers textiles. to translation resistance 2. 8. the"Italian" goneto theprinter's. thesubjectile. 1amadding all depend on texts I havejustbecome three details. below(sub=jectum)as a substance.It is an articlethatTristan devoted to Pierre Klingsor Bonnard in 1921 (in lAmour de lart. subjectile. which acquainted has already nowthatthismanuscript a. thesenseandrepresentation. hypokeimenon. bythepainter itguarantees a general to thework.its substratum. relief . In addition. pores.wasalready ment aboutthesubject. August1921):"The use ofa so infrequent untilnow. for to thenewphrasing. whichpermit About the subjectilewe would have to-yes-write what is unbutdiscreetly. ofa painting everyalso thematter sometimes surface. and ofthepanel. mortar. warm in nuance. (without We find it againin Bronzino's letter to Varchi This timeit is 'in piiu saldo (witha subject). Wecan distinguish in the surgery of Artaud:in this rionwhich will decide everything howdoesthesubjectile thatis a drawing.. is tosay."' b. byJean-Claude Lebensztejn in Avant-guerre is such a dignified and (1981." has justgiven me a textshe recently discov(38). subject which that. wood.The word subjectile appearsin it threetimes.

No wayofpassingoverthisfact:whatI am writing in a languagewhat was up to a certain thatof pointand mostoften in a languagesaid to be foreign. arereading in Germanhere3 to offer a subtle whatwas first destined resistance to translation.a subjectile. whereasat no momentwould one have thought the drawings or the of translating nor indeed the wordsor phrasescontainedin them-by paintings.First. inscribed in thegraphic in theverysubstanceofthe subjectile. in another ported Unless it is takenoverbodilyand intact. It will neverbe will never oftheFrench border On theother language. herein French. mynatural language.So we shall be able to conclude: 1) What exceedstranslation reallybelongsto language.Incorporated. language. corpus To defy theforeigner.ofmusic. as from themeaning andthe here again defiestranslation. port. meant. thesurface to saythesupport. only. 2) Whatso drastically exceedslinguistic transfer remains on thecontrary tolanguage foreign as an elementof the discourse. thatis tosay.. Withall its from thesubjective to thetactile. or thematerial. crossthe etc. itssecret already shouldonlybe shared withthetranslator. buton thecontrary to undertake theexperiment.3) The word"subjectile"is itselfa subjectile. I will dareto How to measurethe consequencesofthisparadox? make the claim thatwe have to embroilourselves in theparadoxin order the paintedor drawnworkofArtaud. thecrossing to translate of theFrench. theonlymother to whatI tongueable to serveas an ultimatesupport 3. to thepointofforcing mylanguage. succubusorfiends witha projectile. But sinceyou are reading me in German.By which two thingscan be nizes the bodilystruggle theword"subjectile"is notto be translated.JACQUES DERRIDA 159 In truth knowit has beenrepatriated. like a foreign substance. thatis axiomaticand orgaA subjectile can appearuntranslatable. Artaud's ownhand. it meansthatthistexthas nevertheless been translated. Atthemoment whenthese were toappear pageswerewritten they supposed first. semanticorformal ofsupkinship. shouldfirst be appearing You Artaud. theuniquebodyofthe workin its first event. to approach This spatial of all a corporeal workwould be first with the questionof struggle language-and at thelimit. thatis hand. in fact in translation. notin order towrite in goodoldFrench. whichcannotbe rewhichis as distinct from theform peated. .at its momentof birth. with Artaud.

subjectile.. Unless you treatit in its turnas a thissortofsubjectwithout a subject. 5. tearup. once. subjectile: perversion subterfuge 4. and mother. plane down. or swindle. I draw Nowwhat . of a wall or a panel. 1947. withthismanner or all wholestory in an instant. . They offered figures on the inertpage said nothing to me like millstones whichwouldnot inspire themselves mydrawing.shape. Dix ans que le langage est parti .scrape. .and sew together shred.shape." complaining through myfather (1947) Whathad happenedin the interval An (1932-1947) Something? event. October 1979. totranslate. tongue. theultimate remember thelast arrival occurrence of Father andmother arenotfar in thehand ofArtaud. evenas I debatewithit or andin whichI findmyself born. No longer Mustwe write against our mothertongue to do that? Preciselyin orderto renderwhat is untranslatable? But no one can say calmlythatFrench was Artaud's onlymother northatlanguage as youmight is justa support. thismaneuver in fact thestory betraying of a betrayal. shred. sayofa paper or a textile.plane down.160 Yale French Studies The French am callingupon first.andsewtogether without thesubjectile ever dew. languageis theone in whichI was ifI maysay. we werewondering untranslatable.Whatmustithavebecomenow. at themoment whenI am attacking itsunresisting mother. . Now at themoment I ofthesubjectile. off: theword "The undermy hand.4 from is nolonger themes ofArt transposed tohaveto transpose. betray. thesubjectile without evercomplaintearup. in thesubstanceoftheFrench it.scrape.I am writing against language. and mother. (How translate will they that?) ofspeaking thelanguage saidto be maternal.unsew." body with and in so manyways. in thereturn justa moment ago.on such and such a date? inOctober Andsince a certain day 1939I havenever without written again drawing. 8. unsew.." ingthrough myfather (1947) How can a subjectile. in Luna-Park no. himin order to deliver when the surgeon thatI am demandsto probe. ofthe in order never to complain"through or wordfifteen father yearslater.dew.and thatI could probe.delivering so manycoups de force myself up to himso manyoperations withmyhands. in this trialof the Beingand god would be implicated and malfeasance.

This supposednaturaltongue. also withinit (I am speaking of Ubersetzung in itwhere I am supposed tohavebeen and. Latinis theneed to use wordsin order resortingto words . it is inseparable.JACQUES DERRIDA 161 to writewhile drawing So it would be necessary byhand. and ofthrowing and ofgiving questionofbeing. and to publishit separately.Artaud butwhere wouldsay. .No doubtI shall be asked to state whatis Latin about this pointofview opposedto my own. This butsometimes came to perforate its surface thesurfeeling resistant.although they were thefirst to project thisgreatcorpusofAntonin Artaud's pictograms.and struggles withthestagewithout neouscreation directly thanthe written and spokenplay. I was still. and thisisn't the onlything theyhave in thisseemsto some.ofUntersetzung). The Germans don'thave will be necessary it. then. Fichteor Heidegger-have alwaystriedto take back theirlanguage againstRome.drawsits powerfrom on stage. and in it again the subjectile.whynot.quite simply.In other common. Whatis to express ideas thatare clear. in Heidegger's of theinnateandthe Ungeborene andthe reading is alwaystrue.but at least it suits our Latinity. I maintainthatinsofar or rather Western as Latin. eventhough As certain dictionaries tell us. as with tongue from it but any other.thatis. between theone of Heidegger Among manyother themes. theprecarious faceofa subjectivity appeasedand reassured: outcome ofthework.this wordwhich is in order evenFrench.much more [donner].to render it completely mad.forthe ject about the mise-en-scene and forwhat doesn'tnecessarily pictogram happenor does so only words: through In opposition whichstrikes me as altogether to thispointofview. I would be withtime enoughand takingthe necessary precautions. . its spontathislanguage beginswiththe stage. we didn'thave thiswordin French either a short The Germans-thinkof while ago. whichdidn'ttakeplace to insiston thepossibleencounters tempted andArtaud.Artaudtoo. to describe thesupport ofthepictogram scarcely whichis still resonating withthe traceleftin it bya projectile. inthetwist itimposeson born: the syntaxof this wordinnate. makingoneselfscarcelytranslatable.againsta certain Latinity.this to force tongue you are bornwith.against andhaveit outwiththeso-called mother thislanguage. [jeter] Whathe sayson thissubArtaud. is also valid. however horrifying conditions. it is mise en scene that is theater. . obstinate. starting ofAuseinandersetzung.

as muchas beginning again. for. from todeliver someoneorsomething else a domination." TextsquotedbyPaule everything else. tiredness. / whichmakesyoubelievethatyouareFrench. 6.""To managethat. 58.absolutely the "subjectile. / witha sickness. to its adjectivalusageas a in it. letting in for. Thevenin .in thetheater as in everything else." can translate by "the Frenchlanguage"said to be the mother tongue But to writeagainst. To madden the I don'tknowifI am writing is thatstill French? subjectile./ it is the tongue the and separation:"We have to vanquishFrenchwithoutleaving necessary departure ithas heldme in itstongue. 57. ed. whatI mean")speaking we will see. buttodeliver itlikea Latinword. whatI mean. mywayofdoingit is notthatofa being. to decompose thatI wanted surreptitiously. in an intelligible French. which theword"remanence" wasbefore. notfarfrom thesubjectand together a thing and a wordconsolidated from Descartes'"clearideas.1976). andI don'tknowifin French butit translates exists.beton it.inhabits latesquiteexactly orhauntsthe Artaud "It'sthebasisoftheRamayana thatis.really.areideas Becausefor thatare dead and finished. like a Latin like this historical sedimentation of fear oftheword: thing.The numbers refer to pagesin thisvolume.for even oflanguage. seducesit. exists. thefiend. / thatis to say. SusanSontag StrausGiroux.thatthesoul is a fiend nota deposit quiteexactly [supp6tJ./ Now I haveanother it.5 The Germanshave no subjectile. fort. 55. / and correct / for no matter whatis me. buta [dep6tJ whatformerly wanted to subsist. openly.thereader in "French.From scoldsit.namesit?Not so muchin order andfirst wringer. AA refers ofAntonin Artaud. I supp6t. (New York:Farrar doesto theFrench whathe doesto thesubjectile.quarrels Artaud onlyuses it butattacks without it undertakes to it the puts through pierce through.actual."6 thesubstance. finished.leaveit also for mother whatyoucan do bestis toleave it. / Forfifty years tongue under (sic) withthefactthatI am French tree. it for theneedsofa cause requiring I was inventing andI thought fact. whichalwayspicksitself up andrisesfrom to remain. Artaud language on it.operates nowon. finished. jectilely.mistreats it in order to seduceit. 72. foreclosed in The infinitive past participle.Andthat it makes you sick. to thevery you have to repair put it back to new." everything concerning againstone's in it. to emanate in keeping wouldliketo sayremains [remanerlto dwellin order to comebackup. it to dominate ofall./starting / andin thewaythat force ofwill.39."As we the sick body./ It will a foreign withan alwaysrecognizable alwaysbe me speaking language accent. 234. 40. He blamesit. authoritarian. Tel Quel. AA. human.etc. forFrench:"As forFrench. hors. Butthatisn'titat all.162 Yale French Studies me clearideas. Without He attacks having any thatisn'tyetborn." whathe means("ittransperson precisely.I thought it was limited sortincubate seemedto me excluded. force. notto know buttofind thatitis andalways was madeofsomething whatthesoulis madeof. haveitborn willbe true for thesubjectile as an be theelse whichis going in Entendre/voir/lire. bestexpresses mypresent immediate. someforcing forcener to theWritings 5. writes: subjectile. will see later. subthisword Forcene& all thewordsin or. IV. andne.but how would we know that who never withit it. ofwhat. /a Andat themoment oftranslating.and39.

to writelike him. zur Sprache. French translation: Acheminement verslaparole(Paris: Gallimard. to stretch towards.The trajectory (aswellas thespurt orthe Inother words thepath(sent. inforcener thestateoftheforcene or in se forcener. your sense (fors horssens. that is a support. and it wouldbe farbetter to write The word forsene. You un subjectilein French without thegrammar can'tforcener forcing of orle forcenement.wouldbe evensurer chanceeverofmeeting him in the inghim."7 tion. MartinHeidegger. andpaintings.Sinwithanother gifted meaning. andfirst relates toa subjectile.anyonewho wouldtry ofwriting ofmisstowards under thepretext him.. thatis to say. incapableofit and besides. what mentally sick. Unterwegs 53.without and sen. form.sense: outsideof yoursenses. to takea direcnan originally rootsentand set meanpath. oneofimprecaofall one that tionandargument.) Lityourself sense.Himself calledhis drawings never writesabout his drawings and we can furthermore. originally.JACQUES DERRIDA 163 But onlyin an intransitive ifits use is rareand outmoded.The Indo-European will notbe translatable I am surethatwhatI am writing intoGerShouldI be writing likeArtaud? man. rather in them. means:to travel. . verify this. 1976).. from the Latin foris. . sene] dreams[sinnt]and he dreamsas no one else could.and the GermanSinn or witha c is forcene sens. consistsimply." wouldthencorrespond withthisGermanWahnsinnige aboutwhich itdoesn't us that indicate thestate ofa madreminds Heidegger initially ofsomeone butthat man(Geisteskrank). any stillless thesubjectile morethanhisname. The spelling and incorrect. and his paintings.. whatis sensefor is without others:"Wahn (ohne)anysense. 56.would lose the slightest distortion. forsennato. The relation is different. availablefor We cannotand should not writelike Artaudabout Artaudwho 7.losingyourreason. set-) oftheforcenement jectofa projectile). notonlyofhis speech. .thesubjectortheobject. Butwe shouldn't ofthismimetic ridiculous attempt givein Artaud which kind of about will not either to the judgment be.moreexactly. theact or thewordat thesame time. The demented belongs whichwe could translate in French as forperson[derWahnsinnige.NorintoArtaud's I am language. . of All themorein thatitis a questionofwhatare somelearned diagnosis. hors. is whatwewill try to follow herebetween a number oflanguages. and onlycomes from with thewordforce. it isn't even borneout by to the etymology contrary an unfortunate traditional confusion use. ian. He is sense [withanother anderSinnes].in finding tre'setymology seemsreliablein thiscase: "Provencal: Italfor~enat.without to Old HighGerman andmeansohne:without.La forcenerie andintransitively.

ofthisbodily withthesubjecstruggle that is justas well. butthenexactly what. Antonin for a subjectilesignsin advance. butbetween thatof apartfrom intowhathas no otherconsistency or deflowering. withthe subjectile. orcanvas. theborder veil paper.Perhaps bodyin theirown language:intact. hereandoverthere. Wehave to invent a understand. ofall trying facetofacewiththe tobe ever Let'sgiveup first or for us. byperforation whatandwhat?Forcanwe enter. No doubtthe Germanswill insertthe Latin wordlike a foreign untouchable.The meaning a foreign What body? tilewillprobably havebeen:howdo youaddress and awkwardness in relation to the [maladresse] aboutskill [adresse] whatabout "artificial fecundabody?whataboutprosthesis? foreign "tohave donewiththejudgment whichArtaud tion"against protests ofGod"? noris it the A subjectileis not a subject. Yes or no. betweenbeneathand it institutes itselfthe border and behind. matter ofhavingdone withit. hand. thisside andon of in the moment even very perforation. We never be present whichwill objects subjects pictograms .in this maneuveror meddling[manigances] infront. And it is it is certainly ofthe subjectile. before above(support ofa textile. we mustfinish ofthescene: in this we are spectators for Andhe wouldn'tbe wrong. a wayofspeaking. thisplace of precipitation.164 Studies Yale French So who could and paintings. it is? have any meaningforwhat is betweenthis or that. on and surface). a matter certainly Let'sgiveup on it forthemoment.and does thequestionof"what" objecteither.Unless to comeback. interminably. impassive.still less the subjective. slowlyin the ink of so manywordsthatshoulddepositthemselves whosenature the one ofthe subjectile ofthebody:exactly thickness Does it evenhave an essence? we stilldo notunderstand. never wroteabout his drawings himself orpaintings? like Artaudabout his drawings thenclaim to write and signit differently. one? at least unlesswe lendit another thebetween. theinterposition Perhaps is what matters. we havetolearnnottorush touchesthesurface. whensucha projectile the we shouldtakethetimeneededto absorb to seize. a judgment of God. Whatis being So let'snotrushto thequestion:whatis a subjectile? as a subjectile? whenit is determined in German. sinceit has to go outThe wordshouldbe translatable theborder several times.back andforth. Eventhough Artaud.crossing sideofFrench thatit itselfis.whatever in thismatter ofdrawing by ofa subjectile.

42-43.the awfulelemenof apostrophes." Herewe haveto quote: "How easyit seems and so on as protagonists. is it so often likes to call a motif? No.JACQUES DERRIDA 165 The paradigm ofthesubjectile: the won'tbe describing anypaintings. occular collisions And what an onslaughtof repressed jostlings.theMan Suicided by Society. emotion) for namicsandtheenergy intheinertia thestability ofa -ject[jet] whichwouldcomeinstallitself in one ofVanGogh's ofa subject orobject.)withtheseactsof"blocking.and accepted? ofvan Gogh.evensometimes occupying placeandbeing identified ofit. 499). thegrinding his canvasesin clusters. it to be confused withwhatArtaud butitis true that in thevery counterforce of woulddecideon themotif. tension. shall say thatvan Gogh is a painterbecause he recollected becausehe squeezedonto it andmadeit sweat. as it were. arenot believethatnaturalappearances after him. Butthesuffering XIII. thatit never motif is nothing. tableitself!We won't everspeak of it if to speak of means to speak aboutobjectsor subjects. in thecenter Artaud inscribes ofthe canvasses.This wordmotif(howwill they has the advantageof substituting translate the dythat?)certainly ofa motion(movement. their in theplace Butif." "thecanvas.hoistedonto the canvas. . AA. had to reverse before rentsoftheforces whichworkon reality being driven finally together Thereare no ghostsin the paintings hallucinations.blinkings nature.a subjectile is never withthesubjectortheobject. oftheprenatal is there(Artaud."etc. "for whatexactly is the to write like this. ofelementsthatoccursonce in a hundred years." "bars. tary pressure scratches.and dasheswhich. the by questionthata implying Gogh. andthewriting forces "strokes." "forces" ("apostrophes. but so singularly lets itself be nothing constituted in the stasis of a being.Whatexthisdecisionwe see the hintofa place ofextreme "Forthemotif whatis it?" Artaud asks in Van actlyis a motif? itself.Whathe givesup describing in thecenter themotif." "commas. have theluminouscurtakenfrom takenfrom can no longer madeof. mobility. becausehe reperspired in monumental sheavesofcolor."thewholepageofresponse motif itself?" ofvan Goghafter van visions.butI a painting So I shallnotdescribe nature. commas." "repression.

ofthepre-natal" whichappearsas a seemsto be inne. of its birthand conception:up to the innee. no drama. tiplicity of essentialin what Artaudstill understands by painting:an affair ofthunder and detonation. suchas it couldbeposed there.horssens. .thisneologismofArtaud what is not bornin what wherenaturecollides with its contrary. ofrhythm. audacityto attack a subject .The leitmtotif no moresubjectile."the originwhose access has been forbidden by this The leit"nature. thispassagealso convokes It promisessomething of the voices in a motelin painting. / Ifno something like theironshadowofthe motetofan ancientindescribable music. nortobeing as a subject. forhis partdoesn'talways alwaysposed or supposed. there for whatis themotif? andI wouldevensayno object. Ifit doubtless ofnaturecompletely is "ofnature"we shall haveto think differently. This shouldbe readlike a book aboutmusic.according theveilofa birth. ofpainting./ It is theleitmotiv ofa themethathas despaired nakedand pure. oftone. . we mustnotmixitup witha theme. . sonority. to Artaud. The "untellable antiquemusic"tearsapart revealing "nakednature. themeanmajoresthetic passion." attacked werenotgoing to be thatthesubjectprecisely be understood one. AA. that doesn't mean that therewas any The factthatlateron Van Goghis credited withhavinghad "the . thanspeakattraction playunder youdraworsingrather theunwritable. and it is as ifwe had been deprived from our own birth. we don't knowwhat it is-neither thisnor that-it no longer evenbelongs tobeing.evenifit happened to be "of subjectforhim. words andthehistory ofnature.the Underthesurface tomotetdoesn'tobeyonlytheformal attraction of passagefrom motif and motets. themuling.the "suffering monstrosity." (Artaud. . thislast is like a stablesupport: answerin itself The property ofa theme carried is whatan expropriawaybythemotif. no subject. ofits own subject. 42-43. youwrite No. matter In theflowofthiswayofspeaking. A themeis ingofan objectora subject.". thewords.motifs. "No.seen . its guiding thisreallymusical motif force and its motiv. And thisis thefollowing or shouldnot be anylonger paragraph: areno ghosts in van Gogh'spainting. theextreme tensionofa polyphony. inother thegenealogy ofitsconcept.166 Yale French Studies how simple. and underthesense. This motif. although themeaning. Acrossthe "prenatal distanced suffermemory. 497)."concealingeven the source of this interdiction. oftheword. whenyou let the themots.ofintonation. ofvibration. it can suchdisarming simplicity. ofourown ationhas deprived us.

witha forceps. theprojectile. itself. howto approach seeing: confines but thesame: seen (vue). the othermadness. givespassageto thewordsthrough it passes.500). withis modalized and disperses out everbeingitselfat theorigin. thelimitofan "arthe dam. thesubjectile. a porte'e. and thesubjectile.And all the questionswe will listento relationship from whatis a port. renouncing exactly that. You can madden thesubjectile until-mad Butyoucanforce whichwas assassinated from birth-it giveswayto theinnate(inne). introand abjection. withVan Gogh. itself in thetrajectories ofthe objective. hurling itself into theexperience ofthisthrowing Artaud couldenter therealmof [jeteJe.and so on.the upperand the lower.Such a proximity you to madness. hercloselyenough"(AA. or objectivized. it is whichhowever drawing. the overhereor the overthere.whether or interposes derlying element.seen as she revealsherself nature.the subjective. I am callingbythename ofspurting orjetee themovement that.the madnessof the one thatsnatchesyou from in theinert whensensebecomesa subjecofstabilization stagnation.But without in front ofVanGoghhe is speaking of giving in to thecliche("speaking thatAntonin Artaud have couldn't himself. tivizedtheme. orthenfinally in itsturn thejetee. etc. it constitutes remains betweenthesedifferent its unjetees.nature.painting. Givingitself restedstorm. intotherealmoftherelation withVan Gogh exceptin givinghimselfover to the experiment thathe was thestability ofa painting. a tomb. Withall the music. The subjectile jection.notthistime becoming like the movement itselfofsomething whichis thrown but like the hardened fallofa mass ofinertstonein theport. introjected thetomb. Is spurting porter hurling.Music. operating Of course. like a canvas.JACQUES DERRIDA 167 ing". a rapport ifthesubjectile nowonresound: is announced as the support ofthe drawing and painting? Whatdoes meanin thiscase? Andthrowing.thistrajectory. forcing rendering and to maddenit fromthe outset in desire this birth. frenetically "It is makingit come out of itselfto announcethisnextproximity: when one knows naked and pure.Artaudwas speakingof Van Gogh here. sending? a modeofsending orofgiving? itbe rather theinverse? [la jeteJe Might .)" we havetorecognize entered intothatrelationship. A violent obstetrics there one day. dejection." thehymen between the insideand the outside." overentirely.a veil.the place and the contextof birth. objection.we cannotmeet back up with innatenature(in-ne)exceptby Youhavetomakeit itmad from birth.describing Andthisexperiment is thetraversal ofthisjetee.a paper"support.

the inert penetrated ofrepresentation.We don't even have to speak of pulsion or compulsive ofthespurt ofthethrowing in thedirection interest [jet]. And I shall tryto show thatit is and expulsion. Thereareno forms oranyform. membrane. for support examplethepaperorthe the a and of what is then becomes canvas. .The mode now is anti-Claudel.It is thentreated orfor whatit represents in theforceful otherwise: as thatwhichparticipates orcastthrowing ing.Forcebefore Before itself. My emphasis. trajectory thisskinin perforating thrown uponit shoulddynamize it.The thought ofthepulsionalforce. about the subjectilewithout we will neverhearanything havingthe in it.stretched out. at workin thecorpusofhis writings.thatis. the support neutral Butifit doesn't spread out. me three timesin thewaters oftheCocytus/ andprotecting 8. humansbefore Thereis anything forth oflife.Lifelike a spurt ofblood. therepresentation it bears. and forjust that. pierced.In 1922. his drawings.inert.Works ofblood. in other from thebeginning. words. 204).ifit is not abandoned andnotfor for itself itsrepresentation. it so well. off ourselves. itis Antonin Artaud's thought anythematics his painting.alonein myobstinate / andprotecting beingness. ofthespurt. between twoplaces. The first thought cruelty. form. As The subjectile:itself it's the subjectwhichhas becomea of a representation. itcanstillbe ofinterest for tion.Andwithout fiend andthetorture resound thepagesthat reading bearthistitle. We wantto be and Men: "We have to wash literature else.traversing to theother side: "after thewall of it. "Theyhavedipped all alone.) PauleThevenin. mymother Amalycytus all thismother ofan obstinate alone. in orderto have done with the screen. a is a spurt ofblood.Beingshowsup starting sionally the inverse. And indissociable from cruelthought.It has twosituations. ofcompulsion is thethought what has to be traversed.not be opento doubt. speaking and theonlyone who in his goodmoments Claudel amongus is perhaps doesn'tmake literature" (Artaud./ and whynow Amalycytus Anteros?" (Quotedby Tel Quel 39:32.passing through having exploded et suppliciatheproblem. gisant.but also. The subjectile. to thisdownfall or thisdejecfallout like this. (ci-git).as Claudelputs onlythegushing ofRimbaud." as he saysin Fiendsand Tortures [Suppots I hastento quote thesewordsand thisworkso as to insistthat tions].168 Yale French Studies Is it?Is itstillpossible Mustwe choose?Whatis it?Is itthesamething? treats to submitthatto the questionwhatis it?The wayArtaud the and ofbeinginess questionofbeing[etre] (his word)8 will occa[etrete' withthejetee.

In the first whatI will call the conjecture case. The being-thrown or decisiveas temporary. Wehave to pass beneaththeone whichis already beneath. the subjectilealwayshas the function is that. Butthedramaofits ownbecoming alwaysoscillates the intransitivity ofjacere and the transitivity between ofjacere. nothing .Ifit does. This latter has to be traversed in the direction ofthe subjectile. objectorsubject. with two contradictory motifsin one. out from now on in thecritical will playitself butpreEverything instableand reversible between cariousdifference.JACQUES DERRIDA 169 The subjectileresists. bythrowThe subjectile does notthrow ingout something. theintransitivity ofbeing-thrown Between thetwoverbs. violently attacked. verify. the subjectileis nothing but a Thrownthrowing. itmakesyougive hypothesis.Jacio something. Its inert bodymustnotresisttoo much. jaceo.It has to resist.without life. foundsin its turn.evenfounded. something. they a projectile. it can thus serveas a support. I am stretched mybed. This is thesituation low. thesubjectile can becomeall that. nor dominating) situatesthe place of a double constraint: this way it becomes unrepresentable. Wewillcometoblowswithit.Such at Butwhatwe will surely leastwouldbe ourworking hypothesis. A foundation in its turn. of a itexasperates andkeepsyouin suspense. the surface or the subservient substratum of a representation.The hypothesis formhere of a conjecture. sustaina construction. At the same time. case. butit has anything.brought down.It must resistin orderto be treated finally as itself and not as the support or thefiend ofsomething else.gisant. found. I throw thus. Neither neither screennorprojectile.stabilizing itself in a certain form ormoving aboutin another.sometimesnot enough.a firebrand.brought I am whereI havebeenthrown. out ofbreath has the byalwaysbeingposed beneath. and the of throwing.a screenor support must be traversed has tobemistreated.stones. jacio. arethrown In thesecond ofthesubject orthesubjectile: beneath. I institute can also havethissense:I castdownfoundations. sely. been cast down.lyingdown. however. project [projeter] myself.And I cannotthrow[jeter] the being-founded or if I have not been at thrown birth. thesetwo.hypothetically.the subjectile. seed (ejaculated). Butinverforrepresentation. or dice-or I cast a line. the difference seems from thenon to be as transitivity thatis to say.Sometimesit resiststoo much. The neither/nor of the subjectile(neither ofboth.and beI can haveraisedit orfounded cause I havethrown it.

whose arbitrary ofa dissociationthatArtaudwantsto traverse.yesin tothediscursive opposition text.170 YaleFrench Studies bevisibleand invisible. ciselya whole story and in my books or in the theater . and we will have to take account in fact thatofthesubjectile. singularity work Wecan onlyspeakofthiswholepictographic and byinsertion ofa rhythmical projection and the precipitation. of this dissociationin the bodyof which therewill alwaysbe markedthe oftheeventmade work. theborder between to traverse andverdrawing painting theartsofspaceand theothers.It does ofsomeimmediately notlead to anysupposed representaprimitivity themagicalforce tivewriting. .Without wordstheatrical any painting. literature. ages. thesubjectile." This was at Rodez in 1945.stillmoregenerally. at all. towards whichwe shouldgiveup projecting anything other oftheother? The otheror a figure or painting have to do with such a Whatdoes Artaud'sdrawing oftheother? figuration and drawing in Will this figuration only. and thisis whyI like a limitor a wall. poetry and takingdue accountof the subjectilian totalization wall.even when it is designate don't tolerate the wall of any division. But I shall affinity withArtaud'sdrawings. something pointsto Certainly. solidified thisside and that. . mayseemodd. ofwhatis literally thetrajectory takeitto meanespecially understood and drawing. and. the subjectile is a figure ofthe Between lyingdownand throwing. alchemy. nature coversoverprefact and up to a certain point. or neither thatofdifferent The choice ofthiswordpictogram substances. through oforigin.and writing northatofsupports artsnorthatofgenres. magnetism. We can thensay this: theseare written in theforms in order toprecipitate I think I have areinserted them. interval betweenaboveand below. Not byrights sense to thewordpictogram in order to shallproposeto giveanother this workin which painting-the color. black-drawing. by the acceleration ofa projectile. motifassuresthe synergy and music. all themyths we project a proto-wnridng through upon-which theincantatory ofspells cast or exorcized. bal writing. Butas ifwe wereat theend ofa trajectory. themotionofthe between spaceandtime. . that to something gotten special this way. and writings. or conjuring theefficacity such a pictography would have some virtues. paintings.Andthrough in other of the visible and the invisible. whatwe calmlycall wordsand iminscription beyond withphrases drawings. fore and behind. acceptlimits?painting evenin thetheater? Yesandno.

."Everything is singular each time and each time analogical:a figuration of the other. theforms. sentences. and thecharter. theframe-lock Itworks ofa stubborn quivering. likethe"clearideas" oftheLatinworld. at" "in mybooksor theater.irreplaceable. Ifin thepictogram therelationship between theverbal writing.stuck. no body.") a sortof seemstoprevail after thefact. it no moreletsitself be domesticated The phrase is notsoftened. wouldbecomeonce graphic "deadandterminated. trajectories areputforth. sentences thatarenotonlytakenin."on this destination thatwill be distinguished side. and in thepast (I think. Thereis "thisside. andnotonlylike propositions." more. thebreaking downofthebarrier in the other between "arts"abolishestheborder all these"arts. ofrepresentation. butsingular like whatI "arrived unique.. thatis drawing. spatiality.It does notlaydownthelaw.the inserted ofsoundandwriting phrases riseup like enticing themes.JACQUES DERRIDA 171 ofthistrajectory. Once they destabilthey ize the proposition. butwhere theinsertion itself thenon.) hand arewritten thatcannot thesedrawings drawings justbeputonone side andwhich-here is "something anylonger special"-contain phrases and evenbetter. the form in a imprints or intonations."thelimithas beencrossed. inserted. according no corpus is The phraseinserted remains at once inscribed entirely separable. from Buton theother (thatis. on one hand from thetheater literature. Without thismobility. atis certainly analogy special. "pictogram" will indicatethisdestabilization become work. I havearrived. -Translated byMaryAnn Caws .it doesnotenunciate ofa constitution. than it masters themap. pulls musical choreoalong thefigures motion. Butitsprotestation thecharter accelerates a rhythm." Just ofthe "written as in theinterior drawing. inimitable. the muteline and coloris analogousto whatit will havebeen phonogram inliterature orin thetheater toArtaud. thatis a certainhistorical relationbetweenthe A relationship theobjectandthesubjectile. Even if we recognizesome of the workings of words. Fromnow on. subject.the precipitates From off WhatI havearrived carries thelimits.

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