JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory, Volume 24, Number 2, 2004 Page: 318
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make metaphorical use of the model of the annotation. That is, I will
introduce the problematics of writing the event as an issue of annotation.
Conceivably in this part of my discussion the model ofthe annotation will
allow me to stress and explore the issues of linking and transmitting that
are also of concern to historiography, for the annotation as a process of
writing, stitching, and glossing, while simultaneously extending, renew-
ing and perpetuating the text (which is always in the past and so other to
the present), appears to be an apt image of what the writing of an historical
event resembles. In as much as the model ofthe annotation always already
implies its "secondary position" (Derrida, "This" 203), its dependence on
an other text, its reliance on citing and cutting from a larger and previous
piece, its emphasis on the position of response, it will allow me to
speculatively draw out what is inevitably involved in any act of
Linking Onto the Scandal
Testimonies that tell of historical trauma often command us to have
"faith" in what is not present, in that which is unseen and exceeds our
understanding. Because these testimonies speak about that which has not
been-or cannot be-adequately understood or referred to, it would be
unjust if we were to link onto their claims in order to evaluate the extent
to which they satisfy "truth conditions"-for any attempt to make them
subject to a process of verification before a "tribunal of knowledge,"
which admits only descriptive sentences of cognitive value, would
subsume these testimonies into a quotation, a secondary discourse that
would annul their command that pleads us to think beyond our present
understanding. The temptation for the present to take hold of itself again
by understanding what unsettles it, by demanding an explanation, by
linking questions of "reality" and "truth" with that which speaks in an
"'other" way is, according to Lyotard, always a "possible inevitable
temptation" that is available to the addressee (to those that hear the
testimony and attempt to link or comment on it).3 But this possible
commentary "cannot annul the event, it can only tame and master it,
thereby disregarding [forgetting] ... the other" (Lyotard, Differend 163-
64). The event (the testimony) remains of course, but the "inevitable
temptation" for the addressee to close off its vulnerability to the other by
turning the testimony into an object of/for knowledge, accomplishes to
efface, not the testimony, but the command to think beyond the present
understanding. Hence, a testimony is forgotten, not necessarily because
its content does not get heard or represented, but because a linking (or
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Association of Teachers of Advanced Composition (U.S.). JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory, Volume 24, Number 2, 2004, periodical, 2004; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28644/m1/64/: accessed February 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .