Lacunae – An Essay of Exchanges

“We can never hold the world either within speech or outside of speech, the only destiny from now on fitting is that language, in perpetual pursuit and perpetual rupture and without having any other meaning than this pursuit and this rupture, should indefinitely persist.”

-Maurice Blanchot


“We are imagined beings, beings of vision – a vision of an-other.

– But we must distinguish this other from ourselves. There is not an other-being by which we are seen. We are imagined beings, dreamed by imagination itself.

– So too by the place where imagination is absent. We are a double-dream that is also a non-dream.

– And in this we are an altogether all-too real dream. A dream that, doubled in its apparent contradiction, becomes something we might call “real.”

– We exist – insofar as we are absent – like the characters of a blank page. Like the mysterious language of what is not written between the lines of a book.

– We are what is seen when one stares and reads what is not written. When the roles of that so-called communication of the symbol is reversed such that the letter is the background and the page the text. The indecipherable hallways of blank space that are an alphabet all their own.

– These spaces are the veins through which the meaning flows, softly and nonexistent.

– Meaning is only revealed in a rupture, where its emptiness bleeds onto the written word.

– What then is the understanding of this? What is your understanding of my being, as you see me rupturing upon yourself?

– For me to say “I understand you” is to complicate understanding itself. It is an unequal statement: my understanding of you is not an equality of idea or experience.

– There is a chasm that has been bridged, but one must stand on one side or the other.

– To say “we understand each other” is only to build two bridges, each crossing the chasm, but each of different length and construction.

– To say “I understand you” ties my understand, not purely to some-thing itself, but to your expression of the thing. I understand that I see your understanding. But our understanding cannot be the same.

– What is the word? Under-stand? Under: “Between, among” and Stand: “The place of standing” but also “a pause, a delay.”

– In understanding you I stand among you, but also among myself beside you. I am in the gap between ourselves. I stand upon the bridge between the chasm that only I may walk upon. Never to stand upon the other side.

– The rupture then, is the rupture of the chasm between us. The rising and flowing of nothing, a swell of absence which is present in the possibility of both our existences.

– Not only in the possibility of both our existences. But in the possibility of our existences in its own presence. Such that I might say I perceive this absence and perceive your perception of it.

– This absence, though, is not a whole absence. It is not The Absence. If, in deconstructing an absolute, I reduce it to a lack – a lack of itself – then there must consequently exist a presence of absence. The multitude of expressions are an expression of an absent absolute. Or, rather, they are not imperfect expressions of an imperfectly, materially recognized ideal. Instead, they are expressions of the absence of an ideal, of category itself.

– In writing this absence, this gap, takes a form. A form without form, where it is condensed into the blankness of pages. In writing, there is voice, a voice that exists only in that it is read. Without reading, the book does not exist. Writing is not a voice to the author, and therefore, it is a voice without origin. Between our speech there rests a chasm. This is true. But that chasm is only between us. Or, rather, we each must build a bridge across this chasm separately, from our own perches, never reaching the other side. We each stand upon our own precipice. If I spoke to a third, the chasm would be different. Each is an absence of itself, not every absence. In writing, though, the absence becomes a form that moves, that is iterated, that exists again and again in the eyes of the reader.

– Would it be the same? This ambulatory absence, that is made again and again in its reading?

– It cannot be the “same,” but it is itself. It is the same “sameness” that one looks for again and again in reading, and never finds. The absence of writing – the absence that is writing – is the absence of similarity.”


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