chapter  3
32 Pages

In the Name of… Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe

Jacques, I would like to ask you a question.1 Or rather, I would like to address a question to you.

It is an old and an obscure question. Old, because it near enough dates from the time when I happened to read what was, I think, the first text of yours to be published (it was ‘Force and Signification’, in Critique).2

Obscure because it is not, at the outset, a truly philosophical question. However, it is indeed a question, but I do not know how to define-even if I feel it with an inexplicable precision-what it touches upon: perhaps it has to do with the idiosyncratic or idiomatic part of what you write, a certain climate, a strange aura, a style or a tone; also perhaps, but I say this without confidence (it is an impression, nothing more), it has to do with matters of profound, deep choices, tastes, a habitus or an ethos that are your own, let us say ‘proper’, but which one senses that you do not really master or calculate, that they are themselves brought about by carrying you along, that they inscribe you and write you when you write-or, which is the same thing, when you speak.