By Jacques Derrida
"Judaic mythos, Freudian psychoanalysis, and email all get fused into one other staggeringly dense, really good slab of scholarship and suggestion."—The Guardian
"[Derrida] convincingly argues that, even though the archive is a public entity, it however is the repository of the personal and private, together with even intimate details."—Choice
"Beautifully written and clear."—Jeremy Barris, Philosophy in Review
"Translator Prenowitz has controlled valiantly to convey into English a tough yet inspiring textual content that will depend on Greek, German, and their translations into French."—Library Journal
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Extra info for Archive fever : a Freudian impression
What really was that which we have just experienced? What is this well-worn road that leads to Baghdad? a linear clearing offered to the 'divine celerity' of the war chariot, earth scorched by vehicles, the surface scoured, the Mesopotamian road is defined independently from the land they pass through, a geometric abstraction; uniformity, unidirectionality, speed [la vitesse] provokes the void [le vide] and the void [le vide], speed [le vite] .. ,36 I was struck by the strange contrast between the ballyhooed Rumsfelddoctrine speed of the advance, with all its embedded drama, and the strange anticipation at terminus Baghdad, cameras in place, already there, waiting for the first tentative and anti-climactic arrivals of a few scattered Bradley units.
The celerity of the warhorse protects the rider from his pursuers but also from his own weakness, the mount protects its passenger from the weakness of his own constitution, but only by disqualifying it, explaining why the horse and the bird10 would be portents of death at the same time as being portents of power and domination: it is necessary first for the passenger to join corporally with the divine celerity of the warhorse, to lose his soul in an immediate metempsychosis in order to accede to domination.
From my focus upon the valueless object, I slid over to a secondary aspect [sur l'à-côté\, just to the side [tout à-côté^. The banal object did not turn into a privileged object, there was no 'transfiguration'. Something more important happened. Suddenly, before me, new objects appeared, bizarre serrated or notched figures; an entire collection of articulations had become subdy visible and these objects of observation were no longer banal, in any way, or insignificant. Quite the contrary, they were extremely diverse, they were everywhere, throughout space, the whole world was full of these new forms, they were nestled in the hollows of the slightest forms, it was like an unknown vegetation that proliferated around me, useless objects brought forth the appearance of momentary objects of great complexity, the position of things triggering new exotic forms, forms that escape us although plainly visible, habituated as we are to trivial geometries.
Archive fever : a Freudian impression by Jacques Derrida