JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory, Volume 24, Number 2, 2004 Page: 330
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totality, it must rupture and baffle the prevailing intertextual relations of
the tradition. Hence, the inaccessible relation to the other puts the
annotator before the Law of law, before what must not and cannot be
reconciled within the prevailing relations of the interpretative system.
Caught Before the Law of law: An Other Imperative
But what would this coming before the Law of law actually imply for the
annotation? What results when our annotations are obliged before that
which cannot be grasped as a relation? Of course, these questions, which
are always about grasping the meaning of that which is beyond meaning,
cannot be considered without the direct risk of meaning nothing (Derrida,
"Implications" 14). Of course, then, these questions should not be
approached directly; so allow me to further entangle this discussion by
unraveling the threads of a double bind. In the essay entitled "This Is Not
An Oral Footnote," Derrida proposes that the annotator comes before the
"'prescriptive double bind of an interdiction and an injunction":
[W]e see how this law text, which makes the law, produces at the same
time a double bind: it says to the reader or auditor, "Be quiet, all has been
said, you have nothing to say, obey in silence," while at the same time it
implores, it cries out, it says, "Read me and respond: if you want to read
me and hear me, you must understand me, know me, interpret me, translate
me, and hence, in responding to me and speaking to me, you must begin
to speak in my place, to enter a rivalry with me." ("This" 201-02)
If we want to transmit the meaning of a text, we come before an injunction
that compels us to read andrespond and so create relations (a restitution)
between the text and the interpretative system. Implicitly or explicitly, we
will create these relations by selecting and reframing the text so that it
points to and stands for our present concerns. In other words, our
retellings for the present will displace and rival the text as it speaks in its
place. Having worked through Gadamer's circular proposal that simulta-
neously acknowledges the creative character and constrained nature of
transmission, we recognize the setting here and can anticipate that this
injunction (to create) will be insufficient/problematic without an equally
commanding opposite (a constraint). Thus, in what appears to be a
hermeneutical gesture, Derrida binds before this injunction an interdic-
tion that obliges us to be quiet, to humble ourselves so as to respect and
consider the claims and "effects" of the text: allthat has been said before.
In Gadamer's hermeneutical scheme the apparent conundrum between
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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/m1/76/: accessed January 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .