I'm too tired to do it tonight, but soon I'll have something to say about Derrida's book, Archive Fever. I'm reading it in response to Walter Benjamin's essay, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, which I'm reading in order to properly understand Luke's post on the same. In it, Derrida is reading Yerushalmi, who is reading Freud, who is reading the Bible. My copy is made almost impossible to read now, due to the number of sticky notes reaching out of each side, and the many folded pages.
Today I had a few minutes to continue pushing my way through it (I don't find it light reading), and came across this passage. I thought it was a moment of reading, among so much other reading, worth reading:
I would have liked to spend hours, in truth an eternity, meditating while trembling before this sentence:
"Only in Israel and nowhere else is the injunction to remember felt as a religious imperative to an entire people."
How can one not tremble before this sentence?
I wonder if it is just. Who could ever be assured, by what archive, that it is just, this sentence? Just with the justice that Yerushalmi suggests so profoundly elsewhere could indeed be the opposite of forgetting? I feel myself to be very close to what he says then in this direction, and incidentally, in the form of a question. At the end of the postscript of Zakhor, the same question in effect resonates: "Is it possible that the antonym of 'forgetting' is not 'remembering' but justice?"
Reading is meditating, trembling, being close, questioning, and it takes time--it takes an eternity.