File spoon-archives/nietzsche.archive/nietzsche_1995/nietzsche_Dec17.95, message 12


Date: Mon, 18 Dec 1995 13:52:34 +0100
Subject: Re: He*lp needed



>Take a look at sec. 354 in The Gay Science.  I've pondered this passage
>perhaps 100 times.  Nietzsche is, as usual, not so clear, but I think his
>words here speak right to your topic.

Well, I took a look at it, and it's a very nice passage. There was a word
that jumped out at me and made a connection to Derrida much more
interesting than all that "Il n'y a pas d'hors-texte" someone seemed to be
making here. And that was the word "hospitality".

"L'hospitalite" is the word Derrida has given to his seminar this year and
although I haven't been going I can well imagine a what he's trying to do
with it. It has something to do with what he said about testimony in his
seminar a few years ago: One must demand that the witness testify in a
language that is understandable to those concerned. It is a necessity of a
testimony: that it be understood... And yet, despite this, testimony must
take place as if it were a foreign language, that no one as of yet can
understand. There is a demand before all those who will hear the testimony,
that they listen to a new language (langue) that is absolutely foreign.

So too, says Nietzsche, anything that is interesting. We must be hospitable
to the outside, to what is foreign. L'hospitalite du dehors - I might say -
to show to what extent this hospitality is a necessary element of life.
There is something in the foreigner that takes place at the innermost point
of he who recieves and suggests that the foreigner is not quite as alien as
one had thought. There is something uncanny to the foreigner: it is as if,
when we love, it has been there before we could put it there. As if the
expression "I have loved you since the day I was born" was not a Freudian
mama-switcheroo, but rather something else: something more to the way in
which the lover is infected by the presence of the loved. As if love
changed all the rules of precedence.


Douglas Edric
Paris. 18 dec. 1995




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