JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory, Volume 24, Number 2, 2004 Page: 332
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a lack, an irrecuperable beyond, with a tense state that is never (and never
will be) here and now, with an infinitely deferred future perfect-that
Promises the promise.
This promissory aspect gestures the annotator toward a point of
exteriority that cannot be recovered or contained by any reading or
retelling (weaving) within the interpretive community. Unlike the herme-
neutical gesture, the concern here is not to preserve and re-create the
intertextual laws that exist within the self-enlarging tradition but rather
to bring these laws before the Law. Before the Law of law, the annotator
no longer re-collects or weaves the threads of the text into the intertextual
fabric of the tradition. Instead, the annotator unravels the threads and so
tears the fabric, exposing the once seamless web of meaning to the very
construction and limits of its material. This unraveling, which concerns
itself with the promissory aspect ofthat which will never be present in any
present, exposes the law (that which guides the synchronous succession
of past and present texts within the folds of the tradition) to the Law (to
that which lies beyond all fusion, all totality). This unraveling and tearing
unveils the violence in the law: the violence of every interpretation, of
every meaning, of every intertextual relation that inevitably excludes in
its will to represent. It recalls that "every discourse among interlocutors
is a struggle against outsiders, those who emit interference and equivo-
cation." It recalls that, "in the measure that communication does take
place and that statements are established as true, it designates outsiders
as not making sense, as mystified, mad, or brutish, and it delivers them
over to violence" (Lingis 135). Before the Law of law, the annotator
would keep reminding the law of what remains from its inevitable
violence. Before this ethical critique of law, the annotator, apart from
anything else, would have to attempt to allow the other to (somehow)
reappear both as the point of exteriority (as the beyond/possible to every
present/totality) and as the excluded other.
But by this point, the "what does this imply for writing" question,
which initiated this discussion, and that perhaps insistently retains itself
at the back of our minds, must be explicitly posed: What would this
annotator (who works before the Law of law) transmit if not meaning, if
not relations, if not an intelligible story, if not the application of the text?
What type of writing would this be? Yet, again-if the concern is to
preserve what is otherwise than meaning-we will have to avoid our
temptation to directly grasp these questions with answers, for to restate
the matter, our concern is beyond meaning: it presently cannot deliver an
answer, not now, for our concern is with a writing that can write (transmit)
Here’s what’s next.
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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/m1/78/: accessed July 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .