JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory, Volume 24, Number 2, 2004 Page: 331
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the injunction and the interdiction would be overcome by the will to
understand, for the will to understand sets in motion a reciprocating
(circular) process where the interpreter's present presumptions are gradu-
ally worked-out with the constraints of the text's claims and "effects" in
order to produce a fusion of understanding, a fusion that, to remind
ourselves, leads to the continuity and enrichment of the tradition. But
notice that in Derrida's scheme the relation between the injunction
and the interdiction does not produce any circular or reciprocating
movement that would lead to some gradual integration, or an emerg-
ing totality, or any ongoing continuity. The relationship between the
injunction and the interdiction is unmoving, static, rigid: it is pre-
cisely a double bind.
Doubly bound to the constraints of the text and the creative act of
interpretation the annotator, according to Derrida, is caught ("This" 192,
201). Equally caught and compelled before an injunction and an interdic-
tion the annotator attempts to wander back and forth, but these circular
movements in truth go nowhere: "I cannot or should not speak, but I
promised that I would do so. I must and cannot; in truth, I should and
should not keep my promise" (201). In truth, the annotator says nothing
definite and presents no identifiable relations between texts except for an
endless deferral: I must and cannot; I should and should not. Caught
between the possibility and the impossibility, between the necessity and
prohibition of interpretation, the annotator cannot really transmit the
meaning of the text and so "puts off until 'later' what is presently denied,
the possible that is presently impossible" (Derrida qtd. in Behler 71). Has
the annotator broken his or her promise (at least one ofthem)? Or does the
annotator despite it all keep the Promise of the promise? It is true here that
the annotator does not fulfill his or her postal function of receiving and
sending meaning, but in the preface to the paradoxical binding of the
annotator Derrida has already warned us that in one way or the other "the
destiny ofan annotation is to be always bad " (102). Fated to always break
or garble the chain (destiny) of messages between the proper senders and
the proper addressee (for recall that the annotator is caught in between an
unavoidable and impossible task: the promise to respect the injunction
and an interdiction), the annotator can only remain true to the Promise of
his or her promise. This Promise is not the promise to transmit/fulfill
meaning (later), but the Promise within every promise that can never be
now nor have ever a present time: a time when one can simultaneously
(and absurdly) say "I promise you now" and hence "I have delivered and
fulfilled my Promise to you now!" This annotator's concern then is with
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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/m1/77/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .