Disasterologies (fragment)

I Extracts

To be lost, to capsize.
Maurice Blanchot, The Writing of the Disaster

It’s a place of distress, shipwrecked.
Marguerite Duras, The Lover

Beyond the homeostases of the ego, there exists a dimension, another current, another necessity, whose plane must be differentiated. This compulsion to return to something which has been excluded by the subject, or which never entered into it, the Verdrängt, the repressed, we cannot bring it back within the pleasure principle. If the ego as such rediscovers and recognizes itself, it is because there is a beyond to the ego, an unconscious, a subject which speaks, unknown to the subject. We must therefore posit another principle.
Jacques Lacan, Le Seminaire, Livre II

I often ask myself the question: “Why, why insisting on say, deconstructing something which is so good?” And the only answer I have is something which contradicts in ourselves or in myself, contradicts the desire for this good. But where does this contradiction come from? First I give it a name, which sometimes I write with a capital letter: that is, Necessity. Necessity, and I write this word with a capital letter just to emphasize the fact that it’s a singular Necessity, as a personal, as a single person. I have to do with Necessity itself. That is, some thing or some one, some X, which compels me to admit that my desire for good, for presence, my own metaphysics of presence, not only cannot be accomplished, meets its limit, but should not be accomplished; because the accomplishment or the fulfillment of this desire for presence would be Death itself. Death itself: the good, the absolute good would be identical with Death. And Necessity, at the same time (the one whom I call Necessity), teaches me, teaches me in a very violent way, to admit that my desire cannot be fulfilled, that there is no presence (presence is always divided, and split, and marked by difference, by spacing, etc., etc.). So this is on the one hand a bad limit, something which mon pêche de jouis pleinement; but at the same time, which is the condition of my desire, and if such a limit was erased then this would be Death, this will be Death. It will. At the end, all this would end very badly. You know, at the end tout ça finira trés mal, ce façon. So, Necessity is the drive.
Jacques Derrida, from the LP Minutes To Go

An example of etymological fictions: “Rhythm”: the staid and probably “erroneous” etymology refers us to sreu and rheô, “to flow”; whence rhuthmos, the welling up and sinking back of what flows (and rhythms and rhymes). But no one will then state whether it is some regular beat always already in operation that made it possible to recognize the coming and going of the waves, or the special experience of the seascape that independently conveyed the feeling – which otherwise would have gone unnoticed – of repetition. The great number of repetitive phenomena (breathing in and out, fort – da, day – night, etc.) make this latter hypothesis rather doubtful. Here again, traditional etymology gives the illusion of a “concrete” example, of an exemplary phenomenon (and of a body of sure knowledge). We evoke men of the sea, brave navigators, frightened and also enchanted, mastering the most dangerous unknown (that marine infinitude which both buoys and engulfs), by observing a regular movement, a first legality. Everything comes from the sea for men of the sea, just as everything comes from the sky for others, who recognize a given cluster of stars and who designate, in the magic “configuration” of these points of light, the nascent rhythm which already governs their entire language and which they speak (write) before naming it.
Maurice Blanchot, The Writing of the Disaster