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Freud and the Scene of Writing Author(s): Jacques Derrida and Jeffrey Mehlman Source: Yale French Studies

, No. 48, French Freud: Structural Studies in Psychoanalysis (1972), pp. 74-117 Published by: Yale University Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 08/01/2014 04:46
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Yale French Studies
future translators of theProjectmight do well to translate Bahnung as fraying: the word wears remarkably well. d) Differance is a neologism-byvirtue of thea-combining the temporal to defer)and spatial (differer, to differ) modes of difference in a (differer, movement which is neitheractive nor passive. It is this differential play, as its effect, (re)producing the present secondarily whichis the (utopian)focus of Derrida's undertaking. We have retainedthe French neologismin our translation. e) Supplement. The untranslatable verb suppleermeans at once to complete (or supplement) and to replace (an absence). In Rousseau's writing, in which Derrida has delineatedmost extensively the logic of the supplement, thereis something inherently awryin the author'suse of the word supple'er whicha com(De la grammatologie, Paris, 1967). For the kind of plenitude pletingsupplement with the secondarystatus mightbring is incompatible To rephrase the paradox in Rousseau's terms: impliedby any "replacement." to a primal"transparency." it is as though the "obstacle"werealreadyintrinsic Were we, like the dream-work, to forge our own idiomatictranslation

sion, would degenerate into a blind complacency (a reasonable translation for Rousseau's amour propre); the "displacement" in the heart of every would pass unperceived. Derrida's(Rousseau's? Freud's?) intellectual plenitude to dislocatea metatask would then be to revivethe scandal of differance, physical,"phonological"complacency. Derrida assimilates the supplement, see the entry fromthe Vocabulairede la
Psychanalyse below. preface and postface in L'Ecriture et la difference. For the notion of Nachtriglichkeit (apres coup, deferred action), to which

of suppleer, it might be the condensation of completed and replace: to complace. This activity of complacing (or movement of difference),upon repres-

a lecture This essay,originally at Dr. AndreGreen'sseminar, appearswith -J. M.

Worin die Bahnung sonst besteht,bleibt dahingestellt. In what the frayingdoes consist remains an open question. (Project for a ScientificPsychology,1895)

Our aim is limited: to locatein Freud'stextseveralpointsof reference and to isolate,on the threshold of a systematic what in examination, psychoanalysis can be containedbut withdifficulty by the logocentric enclosure,as it limits not only the historyof philosophybut the of the "human sciences,"notablyof a certainlinguistics. orientation If the Freudian breakthrough is historically new, it is not by virtue 74

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Jacques Derrida withthatlinguisof its peacefulcoexistence or theoretical complicity tics, at least in its congenital 1 phonologism. Now it is not accidentalthat Freud, in the decisivemomentsof his itinerary, has recourseto metaphorical modelswhichare borrowed not fromspoken language or verbal forms, nor even fromphonetic writing, but from a script which is never subject, extrinsic,and posterior to the spokenword.Freud invokessignswhichdo not tranIn fact, scribe living,whole speech,masterof itselfand self-present. and thiswill be our problem, Freud does not simplyuse themetaphor to manipulate of non-phonetic writing;he does not deem it expedient scriptural metaphors for didacticends. If such metaphorsare indisin return the meaning pensable,it is perhapsbecause theyilluminate withit, themeanin articulation of a tracein generaland eventually, no ing of writing as commonly conceived.Freud, doubt,is not using means to allude withthe knownto if to use a metaphor metaphors, of his metaphoric the unknown.Throughthe insistence investment, he rendersenigmatic, what we believe we know by on the contrary, A move unknownto classical philosophyis the name of writing. perhaps undertaken here, somewherebetween the implicitand the explicit.From Plato and Aristotle on, scriptural imageshave regularly between therelationship reason and experience, been used to illustrate and memory. has never stopped But a certainconfidence perception being reassuredby the meaningof the familiarterm: writing. The gesturesketchedby Freud interrupts that assuranceand opens up a new kind of questionabout metaphor, writing, and spacingin general. Let us follow in our readingthis metaphoric investment. It will eventually invade the entirety of thepsyche.Psychicalcontent will be represented by a textwhose essenceis irreducibly graphic.The structure of the psychicalapparatuswill be represented by a writing machine. What questionswill these representations impose on us? We shall have to ask not if a writing apparatus-for example, the one described in the "Note Upon the Mystic WritingPad"-is a good metaphor forrepresenting theworking of thepsyche; but rather what
1 For a discussion of Saussure's"phonologism" and the role it plays in (his) linguistics, see De la grammatologie, p. 46.-Ed.


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Yale French Studies apparatuswe mustcreatein orderto represent psychicalwriting, and whattheimitation, projectedand liberated in a machine, of something like psychicalwriting mightmean. Not if the psycheis indeed a kind of text,but: what is a text,and whatmustthepsychebe if it can be represented by a text?For if thereis neither machinenor textwithout psychicalorigin,thereis no psychewithout text.Finally,what must the relations among psyche, writing,and spacing be for such a metaphoric transition to be possible,not only (nor primarily) within theoreticaldiscourse but within the historyof pysche, text, and technics?

Frayingand Difference From the Project (1895) to the "Note Upon the MysticWriting-Pad" (1925), a strange of fraying progression:a problematic is elaborated only to conform to a metaphorics increasingly of the written trace. From a system of tracesfunctioning to a model thatFreud according would have preferred natural and from which writingis entirely of traces which can no absent, we proceed towarda configuration and processof writing. longerbe represented exceptby the structure At the same time, the structural which Freud model of writing, invokes immediately afterthe Project, will be persistently differentiated and refined in originality. All the mechanicalmodels will be tested and abandoned until the discoveryof the Wunderblock, a machine of marvelouscomplexity, into which the whole of writing the psychical apparatus will be projected.The solution to all the previousdifficulties will be presented in it, and the "Note," indicative of an admirabletenacity, will answerpreciselythe questionsof the in each of its parts,will realize the apProject. The Wunderblock, paratus which Freud, in the Project,judged "at presentunimaginable" ("We are at presentunable to imagine an apparatus which would accomplish so complicated an operation") and which he replaced(suppl&e)at thattimeby a neurological fable whose scheme and intention, in certainrespects, he will never abandon. 76

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241. Which presupposesa certain violenceand a certainresistance to the effraction. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . representing psychicalevents as states quantitatively determined by distinct materialparticles."proposing psychology as a naturalscience. that is." Memory is thus not a 77 This content downloaded from 141. 'unprepossessed' which (unvoreingenommen).fracta." Rejectinga distinction was commonin his day between"sense cells" and "memorycells.)Freud attributes psychicalquality only to these latterneurones." And 4'any psychological theory worthyof attentionmust propose an explanationof 'memory'. opens up a conducting path. of the tracksand the perennially for the engraving intactbarenessof the perceptive surface: in thiscase. would be perceptual neurones." Firstrepresentation. Our translation will vary with the inflexion of the context.(Darstellungis representation in the weak sense of the word but also frequently in the sense of visual depiction."Now.what makes such an apparatusunimaginable.Jacques Derrida In 1895. and sometimes of theatrical performance. Fraying."The crux of such an explanation. for the of the trace and the virginity of the receiving permanence substance.that is. Whatever may be and breaks in what will follow.43." Freud thenforgesthe hypothesis of "contact-barriers" and "fraying" (Bahnung).They are the "bearers of memoryand thus probably of psychical events in general.the tracingof a trail.86 on Wed. years later. offering no resistanceand thus retaining no traceof impression. first staging of memory. the capacityto be alteredin a lastingway by eventswhich occur only once. of the breakingof a path (Bahn). most generally. "one of the principalproperties of nervoustissueis memory. this thoughtof the continuities is remarkable hypothesis as soon as it is considered as a metaphorical model and not as a neurologicaldescription. of the neurones. the permeableneurones(p). otherneurones (b) would oppose contact-barriers to the quantityof excitationand would thus retainthe printedtrace: they"thus offer a possibility of representing (darzustellen) memory. it was a matterof explaining in the mannerof memory the naturalsciences. The pathis broken. cracked. is the necessity of accounting as the "Note" will do thirty simultaneously."Thus the neurones would appear to be both influencedand also unaltered. Now therewould be two kinds of neurones: frayed.

the force (Macht). assuming. it is theveryessenceof thepsyche: resistanceand preciselythereby an openingto the effraction of the trace.It is the difference betweenfrayings which is the real originof memory and thus of the psyche. Memorywould be paralysed. of an fraying.if fraying presently 78 This content downloaded from 141.86 on Wed. that intendsto situate his work in the simple opposition betweenquantityand quality(the latterbeing reservedfor the pure transparency of a perceptionwithoutmemory). can supplement a quantity at workor be Finally." is thus added to the quantity(Qu) of the The numberof repetitions exciattion.and these two quantitiesare of two absolutelyheterocan existeonly as discreteand can act as geneous types.Repetitionadds no quantity sity. it reproducesthe same impression: yet it has the power of at work. dependson a factorcalled the quantity and on the frequency withwhich that same impression is repeated. That quantitybecomes psyche and mneme throughdifferences ratherthan through in the confirmed plenitudeswill be continuously of mustbe stipulated thatthere is no pure fraying ficient that withoutdifference. "Memory.Only thatdifference frees a "preference of path" (Wegbevorzugung): "Memory is represented by the differences in the frayings betweenthe 4-neuro(dargestellt) intenProject itself.Repetitions such only throughthe diastem which maintains their separation.As Nietzsche ity of forcebut the difference had alreadysaid. A trace as memoryis not a pure fraying it is the impalpaat any timeas a simplepresence.we find that the conceptof fraying reveals itselfintolerant of this intent.Yale French Studies psychical property amongothers. as at least appears to be the he case.43. mightbe retrieved ble and invisibledifference betweenfrayings. Now assumingthatFreud hereintendsto speak onlythe language of full and presentquantity. We thus know already thatpsychical lifeis neither the transparency of meaning nor theopacin the exertion of forces." We must thennot say thatfraying withoutdifference is insufformemory.241. An equality in resistances to the fraying or an equivalence in the forcesfraying would eliminate any preference in choice of itinerary. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . perennially of the impression experience.

by constituting expenseor presenceare deferred withthehelp of fraying or repetition. neurones.concerningthe concepts of difference." does not lead us little and hereditary by littleto the problemof phylogenesis we fraying. 79 This content downloaded from 141. it is because it is definitely analogous to quantitybut different as well: a quantity "can be replacedby a quantity in addition to the fraying whichresultsfromit. Cf. death at the originof a life which can defenditselfagainst death an economyof death.Qualityis a truth of perspective for us.241. 861). The threatening cathexis. we too feel relations-ofas qualitiesin relating themto the existence quantity theymake possible for us" (Werke.Resistanceitselfis possible only if the oppositionof forces lasts and is repeatedat the beginning. Is thisnot alreadythe circuitous the relapath (Aufschub)instituting tion of pleasureto reality G.among many others.Thus.86 on Wed. for example..this fragment fromthe is limited to theestablishment Nachlass: "Our 'knowing' of 'quantities'.but we cannothelp feeling thesedifferences-of-quantity as qualities.we would be submerged:thatis.that is.its possibility repetition is in the resistance offered the first timeby the psychical alreadythere. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . a systematic and quality.diffrrance." Let us not hastento definethis otherof pure quantity as quality: we would be transforming mnemic energy intopresent consciousness and translucid perception of present qualities.p. not 'in itself'. p.nor fraying itselfmay be thoughtof in terms of the opposition between quantityand 2 Memory cannot be derivedfromit and escapes the grasp quality. that will continueto dominateFreud's thinking. this movement is described as theeffort itself a dangerous of lifeto protect by deferring a reserve(Vorrat). of "naturalism" as well as "phenomenology. does not happen to an initialimpression.43. reserve?For onlythrough repetition. W." in the productionof the trace may be All these differences In accordance with a motif reinterpreted as momentsof deferment. xiii.Jacques Derrida added to it. confrontation between Nietzscheand Freud is called for. III. 2 Here more than elsewhere. If our senseswere to becometen times sharperor duller. neither the difference betweenfullquantities.What we are advancinghere does not seem to contradict whatFreud will say further on: ".. . . quantity. nor the intervalbetweenrepetitions of the identical.. 6)? Is it not already (Jenseits. fraying is probably the result of the single (einmaliger)passage of a large Even assumingthatthis affirmation quantity. It is the veryidea of a first time which becomes enigmatic.

for it can "ruin" psychical"organization. the threatening originof the psyche. Life is alreadythreatened forces. In a certainsense. But we mustbe waryof thisformulation: thereis no lifepresentat first which would then come to protect. thatfrayings servethe It will be seen. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Butit nowavoids. Despite the enigma of the "firsttime" and of originary repetition (needless to say. primary functions. It is by the effraction fractures because fraying thatFreud. through modifications.therefore. The latterconstitutes the essence of life. the Under burdened withquantity (Qu) or to diminish to lay of theexigencies of life. that 80 This content downloaded from 141. before any distinctionbetween "normal" and it is important all this "pathological"repetition). theneuronic has beenobliged pressure system of quantity it hashadto increase thenumber up a store (Qu). No doubt life protectsitselfby repetition. postpone.43. of itsneurones thatis. is not life.Yale French Studies may still maintainthat in the firsttime of the contactbetweentwo has begun.For this purpose to and these havehad to be impermeable.and even if thatdifficulty neverstops thickening in what follows." a certainquantity. being filled quantity (Qj)-avoids cathexis. thatFreud attributes work to the primary function and excludes any derivation of it. essence/existence. oftheprimary connection effort In this we arereminded (almost involuntarily) to avoidbeing of neuronic retained all their systems." be deferred.This is the only conditionon which we can say that life is death. which it can contain only by repeatingit. theProject. someextent with at least. substance or subject. more dense the even if it but renders difficulty of the concept of "primariness"and the timelessness of the primary process.if being is determined as ousia.241. -by setting up frayings.must like death. trace. it so faras possible. Let us observethisnon-derivation.accordsa privilege without to pain.thereis no fraying of a beginning But beyond pain and "pain leaves behindit particularly richfrayings.repetition by the origin of the memory whichconstitutes it and by thefraying whichit resists. Life must be of as tracebeforebeingmay be determined thought as presence.reserveitselfin diffrrance. differance.Or rather: differcance not being an essence.86 on Wed.

It is nondifferance originwhichis originary. of the secon(Verspdtung) in a paragraphon the "deferment" fiction" I whichis in the beginning. By theword delay.43." outside of any teleologicalor is determined sible only if differance horizon.The irreducsuch is no doubtFreud's discovery. to put offa possibility. Rather than abandon it. of deferment.something other thana relation between two"presents" mustbe thought." ibility of the"effect in its ultimate consequencesand beyond Freud exploitsthatdiscovery he thought. The conceptsof originary "difference" and "delay" revealedtheirurgency to us in a reading of Husserl(Introduction ai l'Originede la geometrie.are and determine alreadypresentand called by theirname in the Project. we ought perhaps then to rethinkthe This is whatwe shouldlike to do. thepsychoanalysis of theindividual.a self-presence to postponean act. without mustbe understood is why"originary" a would be derivedfroman originalplenitude. he already forbidsus to be function.differance of the present. surprised in the originand at the same time diffrrance necessity: recognizing we will be no more surprised out the conceptof primariness: crossing which definesthat concept as a "theoretical by the Traumdeutung. mean to retarda present perceptionalready now possible. To say that differance to erase the mythof a presentorigin." serve the primary "frayings He complieswitha dual by Beyond the PleasurePrinciple.241.It is thusthe postponement would be the delay whicha consciousness Withoutwhich. cepts of Nachtriglichkeit whole of Freud's thought all the otherconcepts. 170-171). That possibilityis possible only whichmustbe conceivedof in othertermsthan a differance through is origas a calculus or mechanicsof choice. and it is posconceptof "differer.The veryabsurdity betrayed by the terms providesthe possibility-iforganizedin a certain manner-of thinking beyondthatlogic and thatconcept.Jacques Derrida are nativeand congenital and beyondthe pleasureprinciple repetition When Freud writesin the Project that to thatwhichtheytransgress. 81 This content downloaded from 141. 3 These conceptsof originary and delay are unthinkable differance within or even within the authority of the logic of identity the conceptof time. Let us note in passing: the coneschatological conceptswhichgovernthe and Verspdtung.Which inaryis simultaneously which as crossedout. the following model must be avoided: what was to happen (should have A occursonly in a present happened)in a (prior)present B.86 on Wed.p. The history of culture. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .Differer can thus not accords itself. daryprocess.It isn't easy. 1962.

He must explain "what we know enigthanksto our 'consciousness'. the exterior cannotcontain. variety differentiated are other and whose becomes which otherness (anders) (Anders) to theexternal In thisotherness there in relation world. par excellence: differences for Freud..86 on Wed. histology) is concerned. moreover. W. consciousness knowsnothing of whatwe have takenintoconsideration shoud explain to us thatignoranceitself..under of thenaturalsciences.of localization.that is. The problemof latency. of consciousness.This is why.of structural of outside and inside supporting terms. In Moses and Monotheism (1937). e.43. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .And Freud alreadywantsto think forceand place simultaneously. constituted." up untilnow [the theory] Now qualities are clearlypure differences: a great of sensations Consciousness givesus whatwe call qualities. The distinction between the hypothetical representation categoriesof neurones"has no recognizedfoundation. tradition (p. topography nor accept the current to explain This difficulty becomesmore acute whenit is necessary those pure differences of quality. external space. withthatof oral and written contact." in the work of fraying Differences concernnot only forcesbut locations. 170 sq. is in highlysignificant in thattext.241. the contradictory requirements which the Mystic Writing-Pad wil are already formulated in termswhich are literally fulfill identical: "to retainwhileat the same timeremaining capable of receiving. 238-9).He is thefirst one not to believein thedescriptive value of his of fraying. more important than their relations tion. the efficacy of is at work over large historicalintervals(G. at least in so far as morphology (i."It is the index of a topographical description whichfamiliar. (unterschieden wird) 82 This content downloaded from 141. in essence" the rubricof "the biological standpoint." a "difference betweenthe neuronesis "replaced by a dif(Wesensverschiedenheit) ference in the milieuto which theyare destined"(Schicksals-Milieuof connecdifferences of situation.)."And "since this matically(rdtselhaft). Althoughat no momentin the Project is fraying named writing.and for which the relativity always prevails.The thinking of difference can neither dispensewith models of spacing. deferment p. xvi.Yale French Studies oughtto confirm it. verschiedenheit): pure differences.

This last bit of daringresultsin "what seems like an unheardof we have just encountered difficulty": a permeability and a fraying whichproceed fromno quantity at all.241.." If the discontinuity hypothesis "goes further.of a temporalcharacter. from pure temporalization in its conjunctionwith spacing: fromperiodicity.Jacques Derrida about them." Since rejectingthe topographicalmodel is out of the question. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . HithertoI have regardedthe passage of quantity only as a transference (Qu) fromone neurone to another." Nor in the interiority of the psyche(i. e..and #-neurones. annoyedby his "jargon. From what then? From pure time. "masses in motionand wherethe physicist recognizes onlyquantities. and discontinuity are registered.similarities and so on.and we must patiently considerits implications. "I can see only one way of escape.43."we mustsummonup enoughcourageto assume thatthere is a thirdsystemof neurones-'perceptualneurones'theymightbe but called-which are excitedalong withthe othersduring perception not duringreproduction.."appropriated"withouttheirquantitative support."Pure difference. conscious sensations."incapable of receivingquantities.86 on Wed.Perceptual neurones. intervals. thanthe "physicalclarification" its insistence through on periods. that is to say. however. again. Neitheroutsidenor inside. nothing and recollection"are "devoid of quality (qualifor "reproduction tatslos)."tells Fliess (Letter39. 1/1/96) that he is inserting." Freud emphasizes. Foreshadowingthe interpolated Freud. and whose states of excitation give rise to the different qualities-are. of memory).it is because in this case differences." sheet of the Mystic WritingPad. They cannotbe in the externalworld. Only recourseto temporality and to a discontinuous or periodic temporality. else. "slipping" (schieben) the perceptual neurones (o) betweenthe p. and difference between diastems.The conceptof a period in generalprecedesand conditions the oppositionbetweenquantityand quality and all which that op83 This content downloaded from 141.appropriatethe period of an excitation. but thereis nothing quantitative We may ask how thesequalitiesoriginate and wheretheyoriginate. .It must have anotherattribute. are series. will allow the difficulty to be resolved.

The restof the Projectwill depend in its entirety on an incessant and increasingly radical invocation of the principle of difference. in his model of the apparatus. we findrepeatedly attempt in for the terms of a to account of traces. but it is devoid of quality. and to describe the "functioning of the apparatus" in terms of pure differencesand will be a last bold move resolvinga finallogical difficulty."It is and this topography because the natureof this system of differences is radicallynew and must not allow any of itselfto be leftout that "acts of boldness. topography a map of frayings." As we shall see.For "b-neuronestoo have theirperiod.or." years.241. 4 Letter 32 (10-20-95)." Freud. to put it more accurately. the cogs meshed. whichplay the representational role of an artificial the persistent model. psyche spacing. the'free' and 'bound' states of quantity. 84 This content downloaded from 141." all the elementsof the systemarrange themselvesinto a "machine. monotonous.Yale French Studies position will be not in order to abandon but to will then enter his topographical transform preoccupations. The Printand the OriginalSupplement A few weeks afterthe Project is sent to Fliess. this insistence on discontinuity will faithfully return in the "Note Upon the MysticWriting-Pad":as in the Project. to explain how "quantityof excitationis expressed in b by complexityand quality by topography." It is not yet a writing machine: "Everything fell into place.multiplies "strangebut indispensablehypotheses" (concerning "secreting"neurones or "key" neurones). Beneath the neurological indications. Trace will become gram. and the regionof fraying cipheredspacing. Writing a on the scene.By itself: almost.And when he renouncesneurologyand anatomical attempt to locate consciousness or qualityin a space whose structure and possibilitymust be rethought. duringa "nightof work. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .86 on Wed. the thing reallyseemedto be a machinewhich I In a moment: in thirty in a moment would run of itself. The machine:"The threesystems of neurones. theprimary and secondary processes.

I can hardlycontainmyself with If I had onlywaiteda fortnight delight. Thus. a presentwhich does not constitute. thetwobiological rules of attention and defencethe indications of quality." From now on. theentiresystem of theProjectis reconstituted in termsof a graphicconceptionas yet unknown in Freud. . what is essentially new in my theoryis the thesisthat memory is presentnot once but several times over. and thestateof thepsycho-sexual thought. These are neuronesin whichperception appears and to whichconsciousness is attachedbut whichin themselves retainno traceof of perception: the first of the perceptions. (Umschrift). thematerial present in the shape of memory traces(Erinnerungsspuren) is from time to time subjectedto a rearrangement in accordancewith (Umordnung) new relations to a transcription (Umschrift)..reality. The different transcripts are separated(though not necessarily in topography) in respectto the neuroneswhich are their vehicles. linkedto verbal images corresponding to our officialego . Preconsciousis the thirdinscription. Perception.. of stratified a system whichtheyare farfromdominating: writing As you know I am workingon the assumptionthat our psychicalmechanism has come about by a processof stratification (Aufeinanderschichtung).86 on Wed. inscription it is quite incapableof being consciousand is arrangedaccording to associationsof simultaneity..thatit is registered (niederlegt) in various species of 'signs'. what happens. beforesetting it all downforyou.43. In Letter52 (6/12/96). connectionbetweentrace and deferment (i. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Sign This is a first move toward the "Note. the metaphor of writing will dominate the problemof thepsychicalapparatusin its structure simultaneously and of the psychical text in its fabric. The solidarityof the two themaintrend and thecompromise trend of thenervous system. starting withthe Traumdeutung (1900).. .and finally thefactors determining consciousness as a perceptual functionthe whole thing held together.241. inscription transcription Not only is the (Niederschrift).. e. ." 85 This content downloaded from 141. This secondary thought consciousness is secondary in time and probablyconnected with the activation hallucinatory of verbal images.... . thesexualdetermination group. and stilldoes.Jacques Derrida A littlemore thana year later.the trace startsbecomingwriting. At theheartof theletter:thewords"sign"(Zeichen). . I cannot say how many of these inscriptions (Niederschriften) theremay be: at least threeand probablymore.. It is not surprising thatthiscoincideswiththe transition fromthe neurological to thepsychical. of repression. but is originally reconstituted frommemory"signs") explicitly but verbal phenomenaare assigneda place within defined. For consciousness and memory are mutually exclusive. Unconsciousis a second inscription .

"It was onlya logical contradiction. initially. henceforth as a path back into a landscape of writing.In one of his familiargestures. of a letter forexample.43. popular method": "It mightbe describedas the 'decoding' method since it treatsdreams as a kind of secretwriting (Chiffriermethode).241. non-linguistic. of the dream. err. is in orderto justify whichinspires the latentintention the former. in dreamsmust thus and formalregression temporal.Yale French Studies problems shouldmake us even moreattentive:thetwo seriesof metaphors-text and machine-do not enteron the scene at the same time. of course.but of a preverballithography:metaphonetic. of meanthe meritof beinganalyticand of spellingout the elements ing one by one. in which each sign is translatedinto another sign (Geheimschrift) in accordancewitha fixedkey (Schliissel).Tradition may. "Dreams generally follow formerfrayings. is cathectedand functions a text of phoneticwriting element in the overall and translatable writing unprivileged specific. code: (G. W. Open a Traumbuch. for which a second. (Logic obeys consciousness.86 on Wed. possibly propheticwhole But Freud is not far fromacceptingthe "other may be substituted." The Traumdeutung. 86 This content downloaded from 141. sion of a philosophy we read in The well as theprinciple of presence."said the Project. in considerations psychology.Freud engages he opof method. it is theweaknessof a methodto whichFreud attributes. as writing withinwriting. of identity. according to a and as an indivisible it treatsdream content "symbolical"procedure. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Topographical. 102). expresthefounding verbalimages. p.Before the analysisof the Irma dream. a-logical. thisprocedure: A strange exampleis chosenby Freud to illustrate as a discrete. the site of or preconsciousness. unarticulated whole. Phonetic writing Assume." havinga knownmeaning.will no doubt be. a book in which the keys to then of a burial. 11/111.thatI have dreamt (Brieffepistola). theinterof script. Let us retainthe allusionto a permanent nevertheless. dreamsdisplacedinto a forest an act of reading pretationof dreams. be interpreted the stonyecho of muted Not of a writing which simplytranscribes. poses the old popular traditionto so-called scientific As always.) With whichdoes not have much import.says Freud. when. and decoding.

Artemidorus and discernsin it describesthe systemof hieroglyphics Warburton or wrongly. Let it be a pretextfor recallingthat in the 18th century an English theologian.and.86 on Wed.had made man thegiftof writing just as he inspired encyclopediaof dream signs. The fourth part of his workwas translated in 1744 underthe title: Essai sur les Hie'roglyphes oi' l'on voit l'Origineet le Progresdu langage. curiological They would readilyfindtherethe 5 Warburton. against Father Kircher. with an intention. 87 This content downloaded from 141.I'Antiquite des l'Originedu culte des Animaux.Jacques Derrida dreams are recorded. Now Warburton.the transcription of is of no concernto us here) various structures (rightly (hieroglyphics strictly speakingor symbolicalones.unknown to Freud. influence. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . with letters(litterae).It teachesus thatletter be translated (fibersetzen) by spiteand burialby marriage engagement."the great antiquity of this Nation." chooses the example of an Egyptianscience all of whose resourceslie in hieroglyphic writing. may is a be translated deby a non-verbaltermwhich.a document Thus a letter (epistola) written composedof phonetic signs. That science is Traumalso knownas oneirocriticism.43. like dreams themselves.inasmuchas it termined affect. Condillac. each type being the relationhere being of analogy eithercuriologicalor tropological.displacement. it deutung. the author of a treatiseon the interpretation of dreams. the dream must dictionary whichFreud will soon reject. The editorsof the Encyclopedia. the Egyptians believed. When all is said and done. in a web of silentscript. des Sciencesen Egypte. far from the center.whichwe had a considerable All thought shall discusselsewhere. or of part to whole) which ought to be systematically confronted with the mechanismsof dream-work(condensation.241. sons in demonstrating. The verbal is cathected. borinspiration rowing in particularthe theme of the originallymetaphoricalnature of language. and its phonetictranscription is bound. in priestly was only a science of writing hands. Freud thenborrowsanother of Daldis examplefromArtemidorus (second century). had already invoked I no doubt. or tropological treasure. of that era about language and signs bore its mark. the authorof The Divine Missionof Moses. through him. God. had then only to draw in the Interpreters.Rousseau drewspecific fromit. worthyof comparison. interested for apologeticalreaoverdetermination). belongsto the overall syntaxof dream writing.This work.

Those who consultedthemmust have soughta familiaranalogy.But what otheranalogyand what otherauthority could therehave been than the symbolic hieroglyphics. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . No doubt Freud as a new formof writing.theystill needed propermaterials could neverbe such as to stirin so strange a manner the imagination of each individual.The science of symbols .says Warburton..86 on Wed.But he makes of psychicalwriting so originary a production thatwriting such as we believe to be designated in the 88 This content downloaded from 141.. the dream discourse drew: the settingand the text of its mise en Since dreamsare constructed like a formof writing. ideogrammatic and phoneticelements. that a serpent indicated sickness.Yale French Studies key to dreams.241. in fact it had become the commonsource on which constructed historically. the kinds scerne.. that frogs signified impostors. elements of hieroglyphics.which theywould thenpretendto divine. conceives of the dream's displacements placing words on stage withoutbecomingsubservient to them. Now the first interpreters It was simplytheirlot-as it was that of the first legal astrologers-tobe thanthe othermen of theirday and to fall preyto illusion more superstitious earlier. no doubt he is thinking here of a model of writing irreducible to speech and including. .The hieroglyphic code itself servedas a Traumbuch. serveas a basis for decyphering.. pictographic.." What then did the hermeneuts of that age do? They consulted writing itself: of dreamswere by no means knavesand impostors.. Allegedgift of God.43. mentsalreadyperformed Dreams would only manipulateelements(stoicheia. servedas a basis for theirinterpretations. whichhad become a sacred and mysterious thing?Such is the naturalsolutionto the problem. when he told someone who consulted him on one of the following dreams that a dragon meant royalty. or letters) containedin the thesaurus somewhat as written speech would draw on a written language: "It is a matterof examiningwhat basis the interpretation given by the Oneirocritic mighthave had. of transposition in dreamscorrespond to condensations and displaceand registered in thesystem of hieroglyphics. and theythemselves whichmight musthave to a knownauthority had recourse in orderto sustaintheirscience.But even if we assume that theyhad been as knavishas theirsucto workwith. and those materials cessors. It is here that the Freudian break occurs.

the kindwe findin dreams. 358). experience is perpetually distances-is nevertheless stretching in principleand by definition 89 This content downloaded from 141.locations. does not create them in theirmateriality. a purelyidiomatic lexicon. whichthusprefigures the meaning of writing in general.which"followsearlierfrayings. No doubt it works with a mass of elements which have been coded in the course of an individualor collective history. does not borrowbut producesits own signifiers. the limitation and the Traumbuch. And if such be the case.86 on Wed. and the rigidity of the As much as of the generality code. I am ratherinclinedto thinkthat the same piece of contentmay hide a different meaningwhen it occurs in variouspeople or in variouscontexts"(p.Jacques Derrida literalsense of the word-a scriptwhichis coded and visible"in the world"-would be only its metaphor. Unconscious experience. theyare no longer. for example Psychicalwriting. properly speaking. residueis irreducible and is made to bear theburdenof interpretation in the communication betweenunconsciouses.241. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . that limitation of an excessivepreoccupation is a function with an insufficient contents. And the possibility of translation. that. but produces their status-as-meaningful [signifiance]. and differences: as the popular "My procedureis not so convenient decoding method which translatesany given piece of a dream's contentby a fixedkey. processes." a simple momentin a regression toward "primary"writing. cannot be read in termsof any code. in support of that statement. as in Chinese writing. despite theirinterest. concern for relations. the difference between signifier and signifiedis never radical. of course. Elsewhere.The dreamerinvents his own grammar. Freud thinksit proper to adduce the case of Chinese writing:"The [the dreamsymbols]frequently have multiple meanings: so many. signifiers. in fact. even if he neverdepriveshimself of them.Such of the Chiffriermethode is.and syntax.43. only the contextallows a correct interpretation in each case" (p.if it is far frombeing eliminated-forbetweenthose points of or adherenceof signifier identity to signified. No meaningful materialor priortextexistswhich he might simplyuse. 109). The absence of an exhaustive and absolutely infallible code means thatin psychicalwriting. prior to the dream which follows earlierfrayings. But in its operations.

x. in If we considerfirstverbal expression. such.")Translation.Even if we join Saussure in envisaging between signified only as the two sides of a sheet of and signifier writing. And.He believes of a specific code for dream writing: in the generality and the fixity When we have become familiarwith the abundantuse made of symbolism for representing sexual materialin dreams.It is preciselythatwhich translation is even the driving forceof translamateriality quishes.Such is perhapsFreud's understanding. W.Yale French Studies fromanotherstandlimited. Of course. And the substitution in psychoanalytic interpretation.241. in fact. a system repressed. in the articleon "Repression": "Repression functions here refers individual entirely way. with the efficacy of a word cannotbe translated or carriedover Now the materiality relininto a different language.. must paper. the distinction the sign itself.we observe that its sonority. 252).the question is bound to arise fixed of whether many of these symbolsdo not occur with a permanently in shorthand.does not disappear beforethe signified as it is in conscious speech.43. p. while retaining tion or transformation of signifiers This always present. It acts as traversedand transgressed Artaud assigned it on the stage of it is circumscribed the materiality of the exthe dream.a less stipulatesan essential limitation double limitation. 356). produce the space and the materiality It will be said: and yetFreud translates all the time. if thereis any.86 on Wed. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." (G. To relinquish 90 This content downloaded from 141. in an point.Or rather. Freud nevertheactivity on this activity. is possible onlyif a permanent code allows a substituof translation. (Individuality not to that of individualsbut to that of each "derivativeof the which may have its own destiny. Freud never stopped proposingcodes. or at least is not pression. p. Originary of the sheetitself.and we shall feel tempted like the 'grammalogues' to meaning. the same signified. on the decodingprinciple draw up a new Traumbuch (II/III.despite the absence of any specific signifier. rules of great of signifiers seems to be the essential generality. nothingis changed. would thus be impliedby the fundamental possibility of substitution consequently by the concept of coupled concepts: signified/signifier.

of a written stone or archivewhose signified content might be transported harminto the element of a different without language." nationallanguageis the case a fortiori What is the case fora specific for a privategrammar. that of the preconsciousor the is because withinthe psychical translated We apparatusas well thereis nevera relationof simpletranslation. This is explainedto us in the last chapterof the Traumdeutung.sincethemateriality of every dream scene. If a dream cannot be into anotherlanguage. dreams are untranslatable:"Indeed.Freud tells us. translation becomes poetry. to speak of translation of unconsciousthoughtsthroughthe predescribingthe transition Here again the metaphorical conscioustowardconsciousness.Jacques Derrida is reinstated. An entirely and conventionally topographical metaphorof the psychical apparatus is to be completedby invokingthe existenceof force and of two kinds of processes of excitationor modes of its discharge: So let us tryto correctsome images [intuitive illustrations: Anschauungen] whichmight be misleading so long as we looked upon the two systems in the most immediate and crudestsense as two localitiesin the mentalapparatus. Thus we may speak of an unconsciousthought seekingto conveyitselfaftertranslation (Ubersetzung) into the preconscious so as to be 91 This content downloaded from 141. it is then that we may betrayhim more than ever. immobile: the serenepresenceof a statue. of translation without loss Moreover.and this is equally true.of a book such as the presentone. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .43. a dream into a foreign possible as a rule to translate language. dreams are so closelyrelatedto linguistic expressionthatFerenczi has truly It is imremarkedthat every tongue has its own dream-language. textwhichwould be alreadythere.I fancy.241. in or transcription are wrong. It is thus not enough to talk of writing in order to be faithful to Freud. We refer unconscious thoughtsbecome conscious.86 on Wed. tion. When thatmateriality constitutes theidiom of the signifier In thissense. imageswhichhave lefttheirmarkin the expressions 'to repress' and 'to force a way through'.this horizontal impossibility to the way in which has its basis in a vertical impossibility. concept of translation(Ubersetzung) or transcription (Umschrift)is not but because it presupposesa dangerousbecause it refersto writing.

floatingon its surface. What we have in mind able thento forceits way through in a new place. 92 This content downloaded from 141.and thereis not even a past presenttext. is as well thatwhichcompensates to a plenitude.There is no textwritten withoutbeing changedin elsewherewhich would then be subjected.The unconscioustextis alreadywoven or modified in which meaningand force are united. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . respecting. supplementarily: is primal also means supplementary. like a somnambulist.There is no presenttext in general. To add what is missing. 615) The Ego and the Id (G. For the value of presence as well may dangerouslyaffectthe concept of the unto rediscover because conscious. nachtrdglich. Originaryprints. transcription (Umschrift) whichcontinues into consciousness must be kept and the notion of forcinga way through 6 carefully freefromany idea of a changeof locality. "Supplier: 1. of that word.86 on Wed. belatedly.a text which is The textis not thinkable in an originary past as havingbeen present.43. xiii.Yale French Studies into consciousness. the process. because thereis no textpresentelsewhere as unconsciousto be transposedor carried over. as well. The appeal of the supplement by deferment as the here and breaks open what will be reconstituted which seems to be added as a plenitude present. of pure traces. our quotationfora moment.Always already: repositories by never present.241.differences of archiveswhich are always ala text nowherepresent. like a situated here is not the forming of a second thought to existalongsidethe originaltext. as the between the the secondaryon all levels. Everything of a meaningwhich was production.whose signified presence is always reconstituted for nachtrdglich deferment.The supplement. an operationand a temporalization (the latterbelonging to consciousnessif we follow Freud literally)which would be externalto it.The conscious text Let us interrupt is thusnot a transcription. W. It is withinits logic that the possibilityof deferred action [apres coup] should be thought. formof presence. relationship primaryand 6 (p.There is then no unconscioustruth it would be written and present elsewhere.. the strange logic surplus. fora lack [qui supto supplya necessary pMe]. 2) also underscores the dangerof a topographical of psychical representation facts.consisting begins with reready transcriptions." says Littre. no doubt.

postcript. Obliterates it whileproducing it: themediumof thedialogueand misunderstanding betweenthe Husserlian and Heideggerianconceptsof Being-inthe-world). 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .it is here that instead of readingthe metaphorin its usual sense. we must ratherunderstandthe possibilityof a writing advanced as conscious and acting in the world (the visible exteriorof the graphic. Before that recurrence. forFreud is a surface originary and irreducible. Since consciousness exposed to the externalworld. in a footnote only the call for a footnote. in its very secondariness.such is the themeformidablefor metaphysics-whichFreud. along (we mightsay: of transcendental writing with Husserl. the presentis thatit is That the presentin generalis not primalbut reconstituted. we would see the psyche as a region of the world. that there is no purityof the living present. 93 This content downloaded from 141. the originality to any ordinary of a topologyirreducible intra-worldliness. in a conceptual scheme unequal to the thingitself. we perhaps should thinkthat what we are describinghere as the exertionof writing obliteratesthe transcendental distinction betweenthe originof the world and Being-in-the-world. cipheredonly at the bottomof the page.) in terms of that exertionof writingwhich circulates like psychical energybetween the unconscious and the of writing conscious. codicil.Jacques Derrida in the realmof letters: Let us note: Nachtraghas a precisemeaning we The text call presentmay be deappendix.its Being-in-space. or postscript.would have us pursue. That intellectual is no doubt unique in being containedby neither metaphysics effort nor science.86 on Wed. duplicatingan unconsciouswriting. who wantsto respectsimultaand neouslythe Being-in-the-world of the psyche. wholly living form which constitutes experience.43.241. The "objectivist"or "worldly" consideration if it is not referred to a space of psychicalwriting teachesus nothing in the event that. not the absolute.of the literal.of the literalbecoming literary.etc. it is it occurs in an originalmannerand. But sinceit is also the case forFreud. Since the transition to consciousnessis not a derivativeor rea transcription petitivewriting.

Yale French Studies Concerningthis non-transcriptive writing. of transour quotation.86 on Wed. who still insists on representing the psychical apparatus in an artificialmodel. the simpleexteriority of the translated and maintaining the translating.. Of a speech which might be coded without neutrality ceasing to be diaphanous. and let us say thatsome particular mentalgrouping has had a cathexisof energy(Energiebesetzung) attachedto it or withdrawn from it. (Vorstellungskreis) relating may tempt to suppose thatit is in fact truethat a grouping (Anordnung) in one locality has been brought to an end and replacedby a freshone in anotherlocality. What we are doinghere is once particular agencyor been withdrawn one. has not yet discovereda mechanicalmodel adequate to the graphematic conceptual scheme he is already using to describe the psychicaltext.43. That veryexteriority. meanings pre-given space: the blank of speech. again to replacea topographical way of representing things by a dynamic What we regard as mobile (das Bewegliche)is not the psychicalstructure itselfbut its innervation. theseimages. (3) that Freud. would assure the transparency of a neutraltranslaand non-metabolic tion. so that the structure in questionhas come under the sway of a fromit. Freud adds a fundamental specification. It will reveal: (1) the danger involved in immobilizing or freezingenergyin a naive metaphoricsof place.241. The distinction between is in relation to force and meaning derivative an arch-trace. psychical writingin general is not a displacementof in the limpidity of an immobile. (Ibid).The metaphor Let us once moreinterrupt lation as the transcription text of an original would separate force and extension..of a phoronomic process. the space or (2) the necessity not of abandoningbut of rethinking topology of that writing. the static and topologicalbias of the metaphor.Freud emphasizes because this: psychicalwritingdoes not lend itself to translation it may be) and it is a singleenergetic system (howeverdifferentiated covers the entirety of the psychicalapparatus.Here energycannot be reduced and does not limit meaning but ratherproduces it.Despite the difference of be94 This content downloaded from 141.derived froma metaphorics us to a struggle for a piece of ground. Let us replace these analogies by something that seems to correspond better to the real stateof affairs. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . When we speak of a preconscious or drivenout and thought beingrepressed thentakenover by the unconscious.

breakingof a path against resistances.the originof repetition." transforms an absolute idiom into a limit which is always already transgressed:a pure idiom is not language.In spite of appearances.43. makes possible what we call "language.86 on Wed. of the itinerant 95 This content downloaded from 141. We oughtthus to examineclosely-an impossibility in thisforum -all that Freud invitesus to thinkconcerning writing as "fraying". 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . translation. 288). is not yet "conscious memory. it becomes so only through repetition. rupture or irruption becominga route (rupta. in a natureor of a form. since the preconsciousis the place he assignsto theverbal. If one limitsoneselfto the datum or effect to of repetition. p. to the obviousnessof the distinction betweenforce and thehallucination of a languagedetermined on the basis of the word or verbal representation.This power. and structurally.."G. Freud might say. the no though longer neurological trace.not only does one miss the originality of Freud's aim.repetition always already divides the point of departure of the first time. wood (hyle') and institutes a reversibility of timeand space.this does not what we said earlierabout untranslatability."("The Unconscious. but the stingof the relationto death is obliterated in the process. We are thinking here of Freud's texts on the work of the memory-trace (Erinnerungsspur) which. Metaphysicsof preconsciousness. effraction. We should have to study together.Jacques Derrida longs to the metaphysics of consciousness and of presence.via rupta). in the psychical repetition of that previouslyneurologicalnotion: openingup of its own space. that is: this lack of power.forestor writing.would Freud have taught us anything new? Force produces meaning(and space) throughthe power of "repetition"alone.which opens and limitsthe exertionof force.241. institutes translatability. W. whichinhabitsit originarily as its death.tracingof a difference violentinscription a matterwhich are thinkableas such only in their oppositionto The road (route) is opened in nature or matter. the historyof genetically the road and the history of writing. x.or rather of presence in theword. and the becoming-language of the idiom. At that time contradict it was a question of recallingthe originof the movement of transgression.Without that.

and Proust past presentas such is not satisfied. with reawakeningor revealingit in its truth.of the trace which fraysitselfits path. at least to a new way of posing the formidableproblem of the of the unconscious.The latterhas advance. or undefined Freud's answer. he receivedimpressions the deferred understanding of whichbecame possible for him at the time of the dream through his development." Already in the Project. so frequent communication with the themeof the supplementary delay and the aftera slow mole-like of meaningthrough reconstitution deferment.The postcript which constitutes as Plato. if not to the solution. toil of an impress. is always in of the frayedpath. It is by deferment that the perceptionof the primal scene-whether it be realityor fantasyis unimportant-islived in its meaning." That should lead. only in return and by the answeritself.i.. exaltation. the unconsciousis no 96 This content downloaded from 141. and the so-called "timelessness" temporalization and Here more than elsewherethe gap betweenFreudian intuition of the unconsciousis no doubt conceptis apparent.of the trace work of the trace.Yale French Studies its route.241.86 on Wed.producing and not following which traces. afterthe subterranean lefta laborioustracewhichhas neverbeen perceived. in any event.the metaphysical concept: the timeof mechanics or the time of consciousness.We ought perhaps to read Freud the way Heidegger read Kant: like the cogito.concerningrepressionin hysteria: "We invariably find that a memory is repressedwhich has become a trauma only afterthe event (nur nachtrdglich). Hegel.43. a traditional concept. as consciousness. The reason for this state of thingsis the retardation (Verspdtung)of pubertyas compared with the remainderof the individual'sdevelopment. Is sexual deferment the best examplehere or the essence of this movement?A bad question. Take the Wolf Man. perhaps thought.It producesit.and sexual maturation is not the accidentalformof trenchant.The timelessness determinedonly in opposition to a common concept of time. The metaphor in Freud's descriptions. "At age one and a half. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .e. no doubt: the (presumably defined known) subject of the question-sexuality-is determined. lived as present the meaning.and sexual investigations.

modelagainst he has just warned us: which the topographical to continueto make use I considerit expedient and justifiable Nevertheless.Jacques Derrida from thestandpoint ofa certain vulgar conception doubt timeless only of time. as we shallsee. to the refraction betweentwo systems [the breaking comparethe censorship which takes place when a ray of lightpasses of the ray: Strahlenbrechung] into a new medium(p. say. the corresponding Everything is virtual. 615-616). like the image producedin a telescope of our internal perception in assuming of But we are justified the existence by the passage of light-rays. inseparable from consider it as the in thatwe can no longer is all themoreenigmatic processes. machine the scriptural analogywhich alreadygoverns-as shall soon be It is an optical clear-Freud's entiredescriptive presentation. Freudabandoned opposedto a topography and in a giving projective to localize. milieu of dynamic and economic homogeneous and serene themetaphoric is notyetadaptedto In theTraumdeutung. Darstellungsweise] by recollecting that restructures in general must thoughts and psychical presentations [Vorstellungen].43.86 on Wed. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . of the nervoussystem as localized in organicelements but neverbe regarded and frayings whereresistances as one might provide them. of the telescope.And. entities themselves are notin any waypsychical [ourunderthe systems-which and can neverbe accessibleto our psychical the lenses perception-like lining] we may whichcast the image. it simply for didactic cesses. rather.if we pursuethisanalogy. Dioptrics and Hieroglyphics as an energetics Let us not conclude too quickly thatby invoking his efforts of translation. purely is a not certain reasons: spatiality.he persists of energetic promechanical-representation spatial-indeed. Vorstellung] of [of the metaphor:anschauliche of the intuitive representation of representathetwo systems. The change structure. in terms cannot be understood of the Thisrepresentation already ofa simple.If. its nature the very idea of system. is irreducible. between that can be an object [Gegenstand] correlates. machine.241. Let us return Freuddoes notwantto abandon to our quotation. We can avoid any possibleabuse of thismethod tion [mode de mise en scene. in medium homogeneous spatiality 97 This content downloaded from 141.

" 1913 (G. teresting differentiation.86 on Wed. Freud in terms the transference of editions and reeditions:simplereprints defines or revisedand corrected editions. sembling to a place (Ort) localitywill correspond of the kind. Whereupon indicate of refraction and themovement an inthe same in to machine. I see no necessity similarimagery (p. 7 it. and betwen he attempts to explainthe relation memory gression. W.and I propose simplyto followthe suggestion as rewhich carriesout our mentalfunctions should picturethe instrument or a photographic apparatus.241. it is the operation whichinterests Freud. into being.The notionsof negative meansof theanalogy. 436). [Prdparat:laboratory fashion. W.or something a compoundmicroscope."Finally. theregulated timing ofitsmovements runs in thepartsof themechanism: speakand localized "Strictly caught are is no needforthehypothesis that thepsychical systems ing. It wouldbe sufficient actually arranged process psychical by thefactthatin a given order wereestablished the excitation temporal in a particular through the systems passes capturelight.In the microscope at ideal points. xiii.43.Yale French Studies thissufficiently. proposes reference Freud.these occur in part and telescope. In "Notes on the Conceptof the Unconscious in Psychoanalysis. Cf. onlythesystem psychical. 541). psychical stagesof an imagecomes insidethe apparatusat whichone of thepreliminary as we know. p. Freud comparesthe relations betweenthe consciousand the unconscious to a photographic process: "The is the negative. x. "The Dynamicsof Transference" (G.regionsin whichno tangiblecomponent of the apparatusis of thisor of any to apologizefortheimperfections situated. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and copy are theprincipal In theanalysis of Dora. in the theseopticalinstruments sequence.I shall remainupon to determine localityin any anatomical psychical that we psychological ground.there if a fixed in a spatialorder." trace: in thememory perception I shall to us in thesewordsis the idea of psychical locality.. and in thisdescription is concerned. a further on "Rein thesection In thesamechapter. p.On thatbasis..thisillustration Beyondits pedagogical is not itsdistinction system system andpsyche:thepsychical between Next. for provesuseful it of the apparatus as it is and in whatorder. What is presented the idea thatthe mentalapparatuswithwhichwe are here entirely disregard concernedis also known to us in the form of an anatomicalpreparation and I shall carefully avoid the temptation preparation]. 364-65). Freud alreadywantsto theyregister exampleof photography 7 The metaphorof a photographic negativeoccurs frequently. everyphotographic first stage of the photograph image must 98 This content downloaded from 141.

It will (Differenzierung) reduce the"imperfections" ofhisanalogy andperhaps "excuse"them. A trace(Spur)is leftin our psychical apparatusof the perceptions whichimpinge as a 'memory-trace' upon it.and those whichhave reactedwell to that test are admitted to the "positive"process endingin the picture. in theTraumdeutung a largearea. 'memory'. They suggest a precaution thatwe will findagain in the "Note Upon the MysticWriting-Pad":"Memory. we have groundsfor introducing differentiation end [of the apparatus]. Only a smallstepno doubt. theapparently Aboveall itwillthrow intorelief contradictory requirement has haunted and willbe satisfied which FreudsincetheProject the "Mystic onlyby a writing Pad": machine. Let us measure itself."Hervey de SaintDenys devotes an entire of his book to thesame analogy. there are obvious difficulties involvedin supposing that one and the same system can accurately retainmodifications of its elements and yet remainperpetually open to the reception of freshoccasionsfor modification (p. but a beginning.43. This we may describe and to the function related to it we give the name of (Erinnerungsspur). Two systems willthusbe necessary in a single machine.86 on Wed. chapter The intentions are the same.. We have already defined elsewhere thefundamental property of in a difficult a new kindof site.The graphic representation of the(non-psychical) system of the psychical is not yet readyat a timewhensuch a representation ofthepsychical already occupies." distantly "By analysing dreams we cantakea step forward in ourunderstanding of the composition of thatmostmarvelous and mostmysterious of all instruments. combining freshness of surface and depth of retention. thisdelay. could be represented byan optical machine only and"imperfectly.has the marvelous of natural superiority forces: to be able to renewby itself itsmeans of action. 534). 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." Thus do we read in thefinalpages of the Traumdeutung (p. If we are in earnestover our plan of attaching psychical processes to systems. a first at the sensory Next. senseof theword. an unfolding as well. Onlya smallstep. But.Derrida Jacques account forthephotographic or inscription oflight andhere negative is the differentiation whichhe introduces. as has alreadybeen pointedout elsewhere.of pass the "negative"test. 614).." 99 This content downloaded from 141. memory-traces can only consistin permanent modifications of the elements of the system. as spacing: diastem and time becoming space. This double system.comparedto a camera.241.

or preconsciousness. and not in general. Synopsis writing hieroglyphics. Dreams are "stenographic" 100 This content downloaded from 141. meanings which extent) point. 284). above). is profound. structure The different stand. What representation [miseen scene] do dreamsprovide formed 8 "Dreams are parcimonious. no longer obeythe arepossible which concatenations outofmeaning. 8 is nottheimpassive signs. laconic" (G. constantly relations strangeness of the logico-temporal rebuses. stasis: stageand nottableau. and its elementsare turned broughtunder the pressureof the dream-work. indigent. The latter's in so-called failto repress. and the spatialsynopses adduces writing. and non-phonetic lapidary quality of dreams The laconic.241. linear consecution. time.They can represent and illustrations. to thedream and becomesubordinate to it. must thussubmit system likea partof its machinery.86 on Wed. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . thetime ofconsciousness linearity oflogical space thenon-phonetic thetime representations". In particular by the withthe logos (or the timeof logic).. and stages thewhole. theboundary [scene]of dreams notbe surprised then in order to suggest the ifFreud. of pictograms.p. digressions groundand background. ii/iii. We should in dreams. and jammedtogether-almost like pack-ice-the about. is Whenthewholemass of thesedream-thoughts idenceand counter-arguments. could not but tendand (to a certain pointto present phonetic writing. It has revealed has spelled out thedream Interpretation to the workof condensation It is stillnecessary and displacement.43. principle spacing or notwholly phonic Nowin thissilent presence.of course. W. Between of "verbal and the space of the stage of writing writing) (even "phonetic" is unsure.The which composes account forthesynthesis mustbe quesresourcesof the mise en scene (die Darstellungsmittel) is irreconcilA certain representation polycentrism of dream tioned. unlinear of pure verbal able withthe apparently unfolding linear. presence ofpetrified elements.dominated complicity thecornerstone of all metaphysics of of non-contradiction. (cf. chainsof evconditions. speech of conscious The logicaland ideal structure representations.brokeninto fragments whichhave hitherto questionarisesof whathappensto the logical connections its framework.Studies Yale French present moving from the portionsof this complicated foremost manifoldlogical relationsto one another.

Or. (in all sensesof the surrounded. pictorially" and puts writing of dreams exceeds phonetic writing The overall or rebuses.whose characters the originaland the translation. cathexis. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . 101 This content downloaded from 141. speech thedream-stage. 'although'. 317). 9It figures do incomic in dreams much as captions word)." of will later on cast suspicion.241. sentences whichwe cannotunderstand without be com(miseen scene)mayat first This typeof representation in speech: which are likewriting forms of expression paredto those whichinscribe in a common the painting or sculpture of signifiers Freudsetsthem must suppress. as it werein a pictographic 9 One meaningof the French investissement (Besetzung)is." on of speech thanthesubordination less theabsence lateron. on which he thatconcept translation are The dream-thoughts and the dream-content (the latentand the manifest) to us like two versions presented [misesen scenes]of the same subject-matter in two different seemslike a the dream-content languages. chain which thespoken spaceelements "which can makeuse of speech (Rede). of course. As in hieroglyphics on "TheDreamFromthevery beginning ofthechapter circumvented. meant then Far from purpose changes disappearing.'just as'.43. Freud.-Ed.'because'. comprehensible. constituted.Derrida Jacques and all the otherconjunctions 'either-or'. . for 'if'. are imThe dream-thoughts by comparing as soon as we have learntthem. moreproperly. mediately on theotherhand. or speeches?(p. into anothermode of exof the dream-thoughts transference (Ubertragung) laws it is our businessto discover and syntactic pression. and expressed script (Bilderschrift)." Butmay offagainst poetry. likeArtaud In point said theProject. Freudstilluses although Work.. we do nothere. representing of the artist despaired the speeches which (als Schrift) (p.86 on Wed. invested It is situated. of thetale: "Before in the and not central telling textis secondary becameacquainted withthe laws of expression by which painting it is governed. 316-317).The dream-content.. in whichthe phonetic combinations thosepicto-hieroglyphic strips. no doubtis left us on thissubject. in ancientpaintingssmall labels were hung from in written characters containing themouths ofthepersons represented. voice is speechback in its place. "In dreams we see but language? not as welluse spoken thedream offact.

be that must seen It words. is. 554). If we attempted to read these characters accordingto theirpictorialvalue insteadof according to theirsymbolic relation(Zeichenbeziehung).of the idea of the primary process and. entailsthe substitution of "primitive modes of expression and representation (mise en scene) for those we are acto" (p. It is then not enough to say that in dreams. conthe secondaryprocess. Supplement to formalregression." 1916."'caught" by the primary process.toward the fictivelimit of the primary process. a signifying content a bit of chain in scenicform." 10 The "Metapsychological to the Theory of Dreams. an image inviting not a simple.moreover. in principle.An equally fictivelimit." in "dreams" and the intervalin "wakefulness"may not be distinin so far as the natureof languageis concerned. lured into the dream. guishedessentially "Words are oftentreatedas thingsin dreams and thus undergothe 10In the formalregression same operationsas thingpresentations. 419) devotesan important development which."theoretical The interval sequently. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .Thus in dreamstheyare absorbed. A dreamis a picturepuzzle (Bilderratsel) of this sortand our predecessors in the fieldof dream-interpretation have made the mistakeof treating the rebus as a pictorialcomposition. the totalreassimilationinto speech. W..words are condensed by non-verbal to a signifiers "things". fictions. ii/iii.In thatsense.impossibleor summarizes speech. But the reciprocaleconomictransformation.. p.241. The entirechapteron "Representability" (Aptitudea la mise en scene.Yale French Studies the characters of whichhave to be transposed individually into the language of the dream-thoughts.. thatinversely may be interpreted certaindegreein terms of verbalrepresentations. we should clearlybe led into error. (G. The figurative is thenindeed a formof writing. Freud insists customed above all on the role of verbalrepresenta- 102 This content downloaded from 141. it is the economyof speech. tend to become pure and simple things. Bilderschrift: not an inscribed image but a figurative script.conscious.accordingto the Traumdeutung.This is firstof all because words are also and "primarily" things.86 on Wed.present perception of the thingitself -assuming it exists-but a reading. Darstellbarkeit) shows this quite well.Pure words and pure thingsare so far as theyare attracted.

Dreams carrythis mode of representation [mise en scene] down to details. falling a space "outside. in a pictureof the School of Athensor of in one groupall the philosophers or all the poets who Parnassus. The phonic chainor thechain ofphonetic distended minimum are always of writing already bythat on which thedream-work andanyformal essential spacing regression in general can beginto operate. The Ego and the the extent or flow of time. of a cessation but of a a different Here once more different stratification of time.86 on Wed.43. Whenever thisguarantees thatthere close together.If a gap is tions: "It is very remarkable how littlethe dream-work adheres to verbal representations. of the dreamer's languageand the languageof schizophrenia.. 103 This content downloaded from 141.We wouldperhapsfind(againstFreud?) that a rigorousdetermination of the anomalyis impossible. logic." This passage is followedby a comparison. ch. if words had notalwaysbeensubject in their materiality to themarkof their inscription or sceniccapacity. 'ab' means that the two lettersare to be pronouncedin a single syllable." includeswithin itselfa spacingas difference. alert speech.assembledin a singlehall or on a singlemountain-top. it is alwaysreadyto exchange one wordforanother tillit finds the expressionmost favorablefor plastic representation. fromthe pointof view of word-representations and thing-representations. differences. Temporalization presupposes the possibility of symbolism. a comparison withwriting-phonetic writing thistime-castslight on writing as wellas on dreams: They [dreams] reproduce logical connection by simultaneity in time.The processcould not even succeed. it does nothappento themlike an accident.. byconsciousness.Jacques Derrida of dreams. time.represents were never. moreover. structure. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . in our system of writing. is itself nota purecontinuum Difference is thearticulation of space and time. wordsare not overtaken by the spatialization of representation (la miseen scene). theyshow us two elements is some specially intimate connection between whatcorresponds to themamong the dream-thoughts. In the same way.On the role of verbal representation in the preconsciousand the (consequently) secondary character of visual elements. etc. thatit implies Whichis whythe purephonicchain. their Darstellbarcouldonly keitand all theforms of their spacing. and every evenbefore into symbolic synthesis.241.Here they are actinglike the painterwho. 2. in fact. thehistory ofthelanguage.Spatialization doesnotsurprise thetimeof speechor theideality of meaning. This last factor havebeenrepressed byso calledliving. It shouldbe analyzedclosely. It is nota question of a negation of of timein a present or simultaneity. cf.

" G. 104 This content downloaded from 141. no greater present difficulties to their translators thando theancient hieroglyphic scripts to thosewhoseekto readthem" (p. in configurations and functions which are never prescribed by its "essence" butemerge from a playof differences. Summarizing all these possibilities. it is fairto say thattheproductions en scene]of thedream-work.It is with stillto come rather thanwitha linguistics dominated by an aged phonoseesitself that logism as destined to collaborate."is concerned of all with the science of language (p. W. we ought not to understand simplythe expressionof thoughtin words. The model of hieroglyphic writing assemblesmore strikingly -thoughwe find it in every form ofwriting-the diversity of modes and functions of signs in dreams.11 The interest which psychoanalysis brings to linguistics presupposes a "transgression" of the habitual meaningof the word "language.241. biology. in this case. be remembered. And 11 "The Interest in Psychoanalysis. and every On the one hand. [mises are notmade withtheintention of beingunderstood." activity. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . A methodological willbe increasingly metaphor inquiry will. The second part of this text." If we con- tinue to follow thetwoseries thenonofmetaphors-those concerning psychical system of thepsychical and thoseconcerning thepsychical itself-what happens? refined. Everysign-verbal or otherwisemaybe usedat different levels. interpret.86 on Wed. to it. and in this case we recommends have nothingto add. p. sociology. Freudconcludes:"Yet. the theoretical importof the psychographic other form of expression of psychical suchas writing." "By the word 'language'.43. viii. pedagogy. 319). Freud psychoanalysis this literally in a text from 1913. alter.devotedto "non-psychological first sciences. it means thatthe'a' is thelastletter of one wordand the'b' is thefirst of thenext one (p. to a certain be devoted a graphematics extent. but the language of gesturesas well..Yale French Studies leftbetween the'a' and the'b'. 493)-before philosophy. More thantwenty yearsseparate thefirst edition of the Traumdeutungfromthe "Note Upon the Mystic Writing-Pad. 346-347). 390. in spiteof all thisambiguity.history. it must which.

404-5). x. The discussion which follows does not concern us directly here. involving the same materialand occurring in the same locality? (G.Let us simply recall that theeconomic hypothesis andthedifficult concept 12 As is known. 105 This content downloaded from 141. In both cases..In fact.Jacques Derrida having recalled thearchaic in dreams. thereare elements for interwhichare not determined pretation or reading. vii. Freudspecifies: It seems to us more accurateto comparedreamsto a system than of writing to a language.the note on "The Antithetical Sense of Primal Words" (1910) tendsto demonstrate. or undetermined meaning of primalwordscould be determined. hypothesis.43. in theirrole as determinatives. in a freshlocality moreover. in thearticle hand. character of expression which 12 and valorizes accepts contradiction visibility. as in the Traumdeutungg. are we to supposethat thistransposition involvesa fresh fixation. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ."theproblematic itself up in terms of scriptural as in theProject. de linguistique ProblQmes ch. situated. topology of traceswithout writing.. W. p. The ambiguity of the different elements of a dreamhas its counterpart in these ancientsystems of writing .241. comparableto a new inscription of the representation in question. Benveniste. after Abel. in themindand side by side withwhich the originalunconsciousinscription continuesto exist? Or are we ratherto believe that the transformation consistsin a change in the state of the representation. generale. 272-3). hierogyphics. on "The UnconsOn theother thesameyear. in a concepts:neither. thefuncThe debatebetween tionalhypothesis and thetopographic concerns the locahypothesis tionsof an inscription (Niederschrift): Whena psychical act (let us confine ourselves hereto an act of representation Our underlining]) is transferred [Vorstellung.. receive its difference and conditions of operationonly through and writing. and witha great abundance of examples borrowedfromhieroglyphic that the contradictory writing. E.but. in theoperations of opticalmachines. gesture On this textand Abel's cf. are theresimplyin order to assure the intelligibility of other elements. fromthe systemUcs into the system Cs (or Pcs).the interpretation of a dreamis thoroughly comparable to the deciphering such as Egyptian of an ancientfigurative script. nor. If untilnow thisconception of dreamproduction (miseen scene)has not been exploited it is because of a situation whichis easilyunderstandable: the point of view and body of knowledge withwhich a linguist would approach the subjectof dreamsare totallyalien to a psychoanalyst (p.86 on Wed. of theapparatus willbegin to be taken cious.

tracewas distinguished from "memory.241. will describe the perceptual apparatus and the originof memory. in thedescription in an increase result eachtime in rigor. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . and differentiation. the "perceptual apparatus" willno longer be able to be anything buta writing machine.the two seriesof metaphors Long disjoined will then be united. is thedestiny of a representation after it is first registered. and out of phase. As has alwaysbeendone-at leastsincePlato-Freud first considers writing as a technique subservient to memory.86 on Wed. Freud's Slab of Wax and the Three Analogies of Writing In thissix page text.Thisis thepassage andin which we quoted thememoryearlier. whichFreudintroduces after refusing to decide." p. 228.43. and willbe morereadily whatis written as a "materialized" represented partextracted from theapparatus." its example. as we have emphasized. do noteliminate thetopographical difference ofthetwoinscriptions. But here-something not is possible forPlato-the psychical caught up in an apparatus. The "NoteUpon theMystic Writing-Pad." twelve yearslater. The difference between thesystem and thepsychical is still at work: the graphic register is reserved forthe description of the psychical content or of an element in themachine. an external. auxiliary technique of psychical memory and notmemory itself:hypomnesis rather than mnnmjsaid Phaedrus. Suchis thefirst analogy: 13 p. We might think thatthemachine itself is subject to another principle of organization.Yale French Studies of anti-cathexis (Gegenbesetzung: "thesole mechanism of primal represson. inwardness. This is perhaps the case as well becausetheguiding thread of thearticle on "The Unconscious. another destination thanwriting. When perception-the apparatus which originally registers and inscribes-will be delineated. 13 And let us notethattheconcept of inscription stillremains simply the graphic element of an apparatus whichis not itself a writing machine. 280). theanalogy between a certain writing apparatus and theperceptual Threestages is gradually apparatus demonstrated." 106 This content downloaded from 141.

.the hypomnemic supplement This content downloaded from 141. extent. Auxiliary apparatuses which. fail to satisfy conditions the doublerequirement defined sincethe a potential Project: forindefinite preservation andan unlimited capacityforreception.are (Hilfsapparate). or sheet of paper.whosevirginity mayalwaysbe reconstituted by its traces. which thepsychical "intotheworld".writing has alwaysclaimed it. ear-trumpet) thusseemparticularly deficient when it comes to memory." Theirextension belongs to classical geometry and is intelligible in its terms as pureexterior without relation to itself. erasure. do so to a remarkable If I distrust my memory-neurotics. it is simply of considering theconditions whichcustomary Those surfaces writing imposeon thatoperation.I Erinnerungsapparates). spectacles. Freud's theme here ofmemory or theprimal is nottheabsence and normal finitude of themnemic evenless is it thestructure faculty.withthe certainty have remained to which unaltered and so have escaped thepossibledistortions it might have been subjected in myactual memory (G. W. A slate. camera. At first. on the modelof the supplementary alwaysconstituted organ(e. A sheet ofpaper preserves indefinitely butis quickly saturated..g. has been deposited have only to bear in mind the place wherethis 'memory' and I can then'reproduce' thatit will it at any timeI like. (thus)does notconserve All theclassicalwriting surfaces offer onlyone of the two advantages and alwayspresent the complementary inconvenience.JacquesDerrida as we know. Such is theres extensa and the intelligible surface of classicalwriting apparatuses. Thisremark makes evenmore suspect theearlier 107 and the necessityof the Erganzung. of the temporalization whichgrounds thatfinitude or its essential to censorship nor is it the possibility relationship and repression. but normalpeople have everyreasonfor doingso as well-I am able to completeand guarantee (erginzenund versichern) its working by making a written trace(schriftliche Anzeichnung). they "an unlimited receptive capacanda retention ofpermanent ity traces seemto be mutually exclusive. Freud notes. A different writing space mustbe found.p. is as it were a the pocket-book materialized portion(ein materialisiertes Stuck) of my mnemicapparatus(des the rest of which I carryabout with me invisible.86 on Wed.241. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . In theprocesses which substitute forourmemory. xiv. norwhatis remustproject quiredin the nature to be of the psyche forthatsupplementation a question possible.43. In thatcase the surface upon which this trace is preserved. 3).

He mighthave said: in 1895. The upperlayeris a transparent piece of celluloid. For this purposeno pencil or chalk is necessary. whichcan be detachedfromeach otherexceptat their two ends." Its appearance is modest. it will be found that its construction shows a remarkable with my hypothetical structure of our perceptualapparaagreement both advantages: "an ever-ready tus.. When the apparatusis not in use. one writesupon the celluloid portionof the covering-sheet whichrestsupon the wax slab." It offers surfaceand receptive permanenttraces of the inscriptions that have been made on it.It itself consists of two layers. in the Traumdeutung to a suspicion As long ago as in 1900 I gave expression that this unusual capacitywas to be dividedbetweentwo different systems (or organs of the mental apparatus). 108 This content downloaded from 141.while are preserved the permanent tracesof the excitations whichhave been received in 'mnemicsystems'lying behind the perceptualsystem.-Cs.86 on Wed.Yale French Studies that the reference to optical apparatuses.43. This transparent sheetis the moreinteresting part of the littledevice."but if it is examined more closely.the top end of whichis firmly securedto the slab whileits bottom end restsupon it without beingfixedto it.Later. in Beyond the Pleasure Principle(1920)." and which "promises to be more efficient than the sheet of paper and slate. I added a remarkto the effectthat the inexplicable phenomenon of consciousness arises in the perceptual instead system 14 of the permanent traces. he is presenting contradictory requirement had already been recognizedin 1900.which receivesperceptions of them. To make use of the MysticPad. 4-5. over the slab is laid a thintransparent sheet.Freud recalls. we possess a but retainsno permanent trace systemPcpt. since the writing does not dependon material beingdeposited upon thereceptive surface. the lower surfaceof the waxed paper adheres lightly to the upper surface of the wax slab. It is a return to theancient 14 p. Cf. A double systemcontainedin a single differentiated apparatus: of traceshave available innocence a perpetually and an infinite reserve at last been reconciledby this "small contrivance" placed "upon the marketsome time ago under the name of the MysticWriting-Pad. the lowerlayer is made of thintranslucent waxed paper. chapteriv of Beyond the Pleasure Principle.241.Accordingto this view.nevertheless. so thatit can reactlike a clean sheetto everynew perception. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." Here is its description: The MysticPad is a slab of dark brownresinor wax witha paper edging.

"The layerof celluloidthusacts as a protective sheath for the waxed paper. is not affected." to think "The principle We are tempted thatFreudinflects his elsewhere as well in orderto suitthe pressesthe lower surfaceof the waxed paper on to the wax slab.Jacques Derrida methodof writing the upon tabletsof clay or wax: a pointedstilusscratches surface. but through themedium the Mystic Pad thisscratching is not effected directly.If one wishesto destroy whathas been written." It shieldsit from"injuriouseffects fromwithout. is to raise the double covering-sheet fromthewax slab by a light the unlimitedenof the present. 109 This content downloaded from 141. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . of being. starting fromthe freelowerend.241. againstthe writing by whichthe as he lets himself '"subject"is himselfthreatened be written:as he exposes himself. of the covering-sheet. the finewaxed paper would be scratched or ripped. the pellicularessence velopment and. 5-6).15 The close contactbetween the vaxed paper and the wax slab at theplaces whichhave been scratched (upon whichthe visibility of the writing is thusbrought depended) to an end and it does notrecurwhenthe two surfaces come together once more. protection. whose inside. 16 I showed that the perceptualapparatus of our mind consists of two layers. and of a 15 The Standard Editionnotesherea slight infidelity in Freud's description.Withoutit.the absoluteabsence of a grounding. and the groovesare visibleas dark writing upon the otherwise smoothwhitish-grey surfaceof the all thatis necessary celluloid.43. simultaneously. It joins thetwo empirical certainties by whichwe are constituted: infinite depth in the implicationof meaning.the depressions upon which constitute In the case of the 'writing'. Neglectingthe device's "slightimperfections.86 on Wed.The Mystic Pad is now clear of writing and readyto receivefreshinscriptions (p." interested only in the analogy." "I may at this point recall thatin Beyond the Pleasure Principle.Freud insistson the essentially protective natureof the celluloid sheet.of an externalprotective shield against stimuliwhose task it is to diminish the strength of excitations comingin. description 16 This is stillin Chapteriv of Beyond the Pleasure Principle. At the points which the stilustouches. Let us note that the depth of the MysticPad is at once a depth withoutbottom. and a perfectly superficial exteriority: a stratification of surfaces each of whose relationto endless reverberation.There is no writing whichdoes not devise some means of to but the implication of anothersimilarly exposed surface.

The "perceived" may be read onlyin the past. The surfaceof the MysticPad is clear of writing and once more capable of receiving But it is easy to discover thatthe impressions. corresponding slateor paper. represents "I do not it is too far-fetched to comparethe wax slab withthe unthink behindthe system The becoming-visible conscious alterPcpt. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." Freud "would notbe ofmuch value stigma." thedisappearance ofwhat is written wouldbe theflickernating with ing-up (Aufleuchten) and passing-away (Vergehen) of consciousness in theprocess of perception. is retained permanent traceof what was written upon the wax slab itselfand is legiblein suitablelights. the writing vanishes. in its perceptual theapparatus represents theunconscious.241.-Cs. 6). "Memory'" [supplhe] or writing is the opening of thatprocessof appearance fact."This is the second analogy: the celluloidand the waxed paperIf we liftthe entire covering-sheet-both does offthe wax slab. and "this is preciselythe way in which. theopenness only reception to theincision of a scratch. systems. punctuality.accordingto the hypothesis whichI mentioned just now.Cs" (p. the foundations of memory come aboutin other. The contradictory requirements are satisfied by this double system. and "Thisanalogy. and.our psychical apparatus performs its The layer receives perceptual function.43.86 on Wed. Butas yetthisconcerns or perception. supplementary. continues. not re-appearagain. of themostsuperficial Thereis surface as yetno writing in theflatness of thisextensio.Yale French Studies it which thesystem surface behind receives thestimuli. couldrepresent onlya materialized partofthemnemic the MysticPad in the psychical an abstraction. not simply in its entirety.beneath perception and after it. which thestimuli-the system Pcpt. We must account for as a trace thescratch's writing which survives present. if it could not be pursued further than this. layer. as I have alreadyremarked.-forms no permanent traces.The wax slab.-Cs." Writing supplements perception before thelatter evenappears to itself. 110 This content downloaded from 141. namely Pcpt. to theprototypes other of Whereas writing surfaces. system apparatus.

We mustcome to terms withthetemporality of thewax slab. On the MysticPad the writing vanisheseverytimethe close contactis broken betweenthe paper whichreceivesthe stimulus and the wax slab whichpreservesthe impression. when he wonders simultaneity. I11 This content downloaded from 141. and which. toward toward thepermeability of the Thathypothesis a discontinuous posits distribution-through rapid system Pcpt. mostinteresting.These movements are then"withdrawn" or "removed.Jacques Derrida This introduces the third It is no doubtthe and finalanalogy. but whichI have hitherto keptto myself (p. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . quaenam of an intelligible 17 Freud. 17 The reference-"but what is thispiece of wax"-is to the discussion of and secondary primary qualitiesin Descartes'ssecondMeditation.reconstructing an operation. periodicimpulses-of "cathecticinnervations (Besetzungsinnervationen). temporal work neither the line of nor the We find ofa volcontinuity a homogeneity duration and depth of a stage[scene]. ume. vero est haec cera. confirmed and solidified in consolidated. onlythedifferentiated its spacing: But I mustadmitthatI am inclinedto pressthe comparison stillfurther. Descartes." Consciousness eachtime fades thecathexis is thus withdrawn. butwriting and discontinuity as theinterruption thevarious of contact between restoration ofpsychical levels: depths theremarkably fabric ofpsychical heterogenous itself.86 on Wed.43.are constructed. witha wholechainof hypotheses whichstretch spacing from theLettersto Fliess to BeyondthePleasurePrinciple. This agreeswitha notionwhichI have long had about the methodin which the perceptualapparatusof our mind functions.-Cs. may reduce its essence to the timelesssimplicity the threemodes of timein the threeanalogies of experience:perma- onceagain. object. succession. For it is notoutside theslab. 7). and theMystic Pad includes in its structure whatKantdescribes as nence. theMystic has beena question onlyof thespace itsextension ofwriting.241. Untilnow. will linka discontinuist and of time. reliefs and depressions.-Ed. Butthere andvolume. Temporality willbe notonly as spacing thehorizontal of a chainof signs. is as well a timeof the periodicity conception of writing. from within theoutside. and it is nothing other thanthe very structure of whatwe are now describing. can reduceneither And he timenor themultiplicity of sensitive layers.

The ideal virginity of the 19 At least present [maintenant] is constituted bythework ofmemory.the sendingout of feelersis attributed not to but to the ego (G. Cf. 18-than he had thenotion of cathectic periodicity.the same year. path" to it.. as we notedabove. an organized It is on thisstage[scene]thatthe multiplicity of origins. But thereis in Freud's sense.-Ed. respite." wovenof memory. detour. xiv.Anditis notheldwith onlyone hand. Denkaufschub) union of Eros and Thanatos). differance as opposed to. suspension.detour(Aufschub.Yale French Studies Freudcompares thismovement to thefeelers which theunconscious wouldstretch outtoward theexternal and withdraw when world they had sampledthe excitations coming fromit and warnedthe unconscious of any threat. is always differance. also the Umwegezum Tode in Jenseits.86 on Wed. thought postponement.." Timeis theeconomy the articleon Verneinung.On Denkaufschub.-Cs. p. This machine does notrunby itself. and always alreadytransgressed fictive. all The conceptof "circuitous of ChapterVII (V) of the Traumdeutung." the aim of the aim always already substituted . (now). to hold witha hand)is maintenant tenire.43. to theperiod are constituted of retheir first impression. "Thoughtidentity. p. "Compromise. (difference. theimageof (Freudhad no morereserved the feeler for the unconscious-we findit in ChapterIV of Beyond." apparatus thespaceoftheir Tracesthus produce inscription only byacceding Fromthebeginning. the unconscious on as retardation. a coordination of independent initiatives. or ratherdifferante (deferring. pole of the "primary process. system of movements. they by thedoubleforce 18 We find it again. differing) from the theoretical."and das ganze Denken ist nur ein Umweg is only a circuitous path. in thought delay. frommanuof the verb maintenir 19The presentparticiple (to maintain..we shallhave a concrete of representation thewayin which thefunctioning of theperceptual I tried to picture of our mind. Its maintenance is not simple. 112 This content downloaded from 141. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . in the"present" of oftheir erasure. twohandsare neededto maketheapparatus as well as a function." nothingbeforethe compromise. ("All thought "primary process. It is less a machine thana tool. 14-15). is an (Umweg)is central entirely for "perceptualidentity. W..241. one handwriting "Note" ends: "If we imagine of uponthesurface theMystic Writing-Pad whileanother periodically raisesits covering sheetfrom thewax slab. 607). In a pasus hereforits recognition of therelation sage whichconcerns between negation and differance.Its temporality is marked thereby."cf..) The "origin of our concept of time"is attributed to this"periodic non-excitability" and this "discontinuous method of functioning of thesystem Pcpt. 41."p.

a multiplicity its "primary" of writing. a "fiction" of primal For thatidea is contradicted repression.had of lifeto its other. 113 This content downloaded from 141. of whatwe polemical on thevery threshold tionof thesimple origin. of life. Butthisis because"percepformer frayings.Within Pad. ofwriting of theMystic of society. petition and erasure. even in its deletions. of the world.43. onlyby But pureperception does not exist: we are written ability. the origin tion. We mustbe several alwaysalready prepared of The simplestructure orderto writeand alreadyto "perceive. alwaysalready within us which writing [en ecrivant]. to describe to recall that structure. there to fraying. "whichfollow The scene of dreams. recorded. strata:thevigilance and failure the area of politics shouldcome from the metaphor of censorship and disguises. The apparent reference a conventional. relation to the otherand the temporality and obliteraspacing. and the oppositions thatone alwayswrites coarseinstruments. The "subject" governs perception. at thebeginning of to it.Jacques Derrida A two-handed readability and unreadability. seemsto makeonly of theTraumdeutung. Writing breakbetween a permanent noran absolute contact there be neither that It is no accident of censorship. by thetheme is unthinkable without Its condition is that repression." is a intuition. persist in callingperception. thatscenethe punctual is not to simplicity of the classicalsubject In order it is notenough be found.241." was a sceneofwriting.. We etc. purepermeability If there wereonlyperception. and manuscription. of thepsyche."the first relation in the representation. be it internal solitude of the does not existif we mean by thatsome sovereign between strata: The subject is a system ofrelations author. didactic exteriority binds which censorship political censorship giveswayto an essential the writer to his own writing. if Freud. withwriting concerned blanks. no writing wouldbe produced. code-message. repeated as readretained. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . is this nottheoriginary ofagencies or origins. as "theoretical" as theidea of theprimary myth.86 on Wed. deferring complication: originary (diffrraznce). senderfor someone. would be but nothing We wouldbe written wouldbe no fraying. by theinstance ofwriting or external.remain extremely receiver. machine. like every originary maintenance process.

likePlato. is death. From thenon. thus continues to opposehypomnemic andwriting writing en teipsychii. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." Abandoned to itself."his gesture Pad. Only the writing of the soul. theMystic Pad. separated from psychical responsibility. Jakobson. of layered surfaces of the is a dead complexity without Lifeas depth apparatus depth. But it is boundto lifeand theliving it repeats present which origA purerepresentation. Freud. too. said the and represent is able to reproduce trace Phaedrus. it couldaccomplish wouldbe a mystic pad indeed if. The sociality 21 as dramarequires an entirely of writing different discipline. Such inarily. it 'reproduce' within. itsprototype willcease to apply. onlythepsychical itselfspontaneously.86 on Wed.43. to Fliess.-Ed. memories ofa present truth outside empirical of time.Yale French Studies wouldsearchthe"public"in vainforthefirst reader:i. belongs to thewaxofpsychical only memory. That themachine meanssomething does notrunby itself else: a mechanism without itsownenergy.Which not live. Representation transmaybe immediately formed intothefollowing proposition: death is (only) representation. with Not becausewe riskdeathin playing butbecausethe machines. In a letter ofmachines is therelation it will origin to death. as 20 The targets of Derrida's in this polemic paragraph are Sartre. and Lucien Goldmann. wouldsoonrunbyitself. itself woven oftraces.evoking of the psychical aphad the impression of beingfacedwitha machine which paratus. Like thefirst paragraph thenis extremely Platonic. Butwhat was torunbyitself was thepsyche or mechanical does and notitsimitation For thelatter representation.And the"sociology of literature" is blindto the war and ruses-whosestakesare the origin of the work-between theauthor whoreadsand thefirst reader whodictates.241.It is death. themultiplicity that. Our reading had skippedover the following theanalogy remark by Freud: "Theremustcomea pointat which is between an auxiliary of thiskindand theorganwhich apparatus oncethewriting It is true. 114 This content downloaded from 141. The machine is dead. thefirst author of a work. it from theMystic Pad cannot has beenerased..that.likeourmemory. a machine never runsby itself. his representation be recalled.e. Freud. in his analogy with which at leastis thelimitation Freudrecognizes theMystic of the"Note.

The death and finitude machine-and." historical production of a supplementary machine. and resembles and better it increasingly and better.consequently. it is a child'stoy.exteriority of theaid to memory.43. necessarily Being-in-the-world thepsyche-didnot occurfrom without to memory anymorethen deathsurprises life.It grounds memory. Metaphor-inthiscase the between analogy two apparatuses and the possibility of thatrepresentational relation-raises a question which. a certain That resemblance-i. The historico-technical production of that metaphorwhichsurvives individual (or evengeneric) psychical organizationis of an entirely different order from theproduction of an intrapsychical metaphor. has at leastbegun to resemble memory. the "unnatural. added to the psychical organization in orderto supplement its [supplier] finitude. itsresemblance being to thepsychical its existence and itsnecessity bearwitness to thefinitude apparatus. weredifferentiated in even if thatspontaneity taneity itself. stillparticipates spaceand mechanics: naturalwax.241. machines forstoring to other compared archives. representation-is the psyche. in theworld. thepossibility within Nor does Freudexamine of that machine. Freuddoes not examine explicitly "materialized" is necessary supplement which to theputative sponof memory.To ask however. ofthemnemic which is thus spontaneity supplemented [supplkge]. not act on a perfectly the machine Far from spontaneous memory. about the unity shouldhave led himto ask other here.less archaicthana palimpsest. a pureabsenceof spontaneity. than Muchbetter the innocent MysticPad: the latteris no doubtinfinitely more but complexthanslate or paper. Theyvery idea of finitude is derived from themovement of thissupplementarity. All thatFreudhad thought of lifeand death. despitehis premises and forreasons which are no doubtessential. Freudfailedto make at the verymoment at whichhe had brought explicit. Metaphor as a rhetorical or didactic deviceis possible hereonlythrough thesolidmetaphor. of e. moreover.. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . it to the threshold of its themeand urgency.Jacques Derrida in Cartesian a representation abandoned to itself.86 on Wed. which. questions them the status of the explicitly. assuming thatthelatter exists (to speakaboutit 115 This content downloaded from 141. thwarted by a censorship or repression could which.

history In thatmoment or meta(be it neurological mythology traversing an unbelieveable of outside of taking seriously. and disturbs the questionwhichdisarticulates adonlya minimal fable. techne' as relation It opensup thequestion thetwo apparatuses. it was represented. performed for us the scene of writing. forwe neverdreamed psychological: the its literalness. Thus are perhapsaugured. horizonof the scene of the world. term "Platonic.241.metaphorized. This may perhaps be recognized(as an example and let this be This content downloaded from 141. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . worldly in so faras Freudalso. presentation. lifeand death. 116 But we must and continuity. an thenon-psychical thepsychical apparatus It and theplay of theworld. in psychoanalysis's being results coursewhich opensontoits theme psychoanalysis. Like all those forus thesceneof writing. write. withadmirable understood scope prudently) terms of thatscenein other thanthoseof individual or colthink It must be thought lective or evenofanthropology. between between and of theanalogy of technics: in general of theapparatus In thissense apparatus. let the scene within thescene.It is then Freud itself and betray duplicate.thought itselfwhile indicating intradesignating ly erased. Here the question maintain between itstraditional to remove itfrom be found in order namemust perhaps between an assumed opposition from problematic) maynotbe derived is here and thenon-psychical. vancebeyond was spokenwithout sceneof writing of thehistorico-transcendental written and simultaneouswithout thought: being being said. of that scene.43. in the psychology. (a new of technics themselves.Yale French Studies may bondthetwometaphors and whatever is notenough forthat). Thus Freudperforms all know how to he And like who who write.Writing thepsychical and rebetween present between lifeand death. repeat.whichmarksperhaps metapsychological a relation to self theneurological talesof theProject).as the history is caught Freud'slanguage up in it. writing is the stage[scene]of history That in Freud'sdiscannotbe exhausted by a simplepsychology. relations. simply not simply psychology-nor a in the Freudianbreak-through.86 on Wed." we might of thatenclosure beyond and a beneath of world "subsumed" by thenameof Freud.

of the slow march a trackby effraction opening through neurone. of The Problemof Anxiety: "If writing-which in allowing consists a fluidto flowout from a tubeupona piece of white paper-has acquired thesymbolic meanor if walking ing of coitus. 361). in following theinexhaustible inventiveness and dream-like renewal of mechanical models-that metonymy perpetually at workon the same metaphor. fraying. better thananywhere else.woodor resin.Jacques Derrida whomwe willallowto say whatscenehe has playedforus. matter.thenbothwriting and will be abstained walking becauseit is as though from.43. he tells us worin die Bahnung sonst besteht. From him thatwe shall borrow whichhas silently the hiddenepigraph governed our reading.In what the fraying consists. reference to a drystilusand a writing without ink. wondered what And we thought of thosetexts where.86 on Wed. has becomea symbolic substitute for stamping upon the body of MotherEarth. in order to mark matrix nature. in following the untiring violently." Mehiman Translated by Jeffrey 117 This content downloaded from 141. forbidden sexualbehavior werethereby beingindulged in. tracefor obstinately substituting traceand machine formachine-we Freudwas doing. 8 Jan 2014 04:46:15 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Of theTraumdeutung: "It is highly all complicated that probable machinery and apparatus in dreams occurring standforthegenitals -and as a rulethemaleones-in describing which dream-symbolism is as indefatigable as thejoke-work (Witzarbeit)" (p. In following the advanceof metaphors of path.trace. Then.241. light or wax.