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Invention of Law as Example in the Derrida-Event

by Enis Memişoğlu
18 May 2012 • Comment (0) • Print
Posted: Im-possible Derrida [8] | Article


A poem?…

A poem could be an interrogation.

This could also be written as (as we will witness in and throughout a poem) “What is a Poem” or as “What is Poetry?

“What is poetry?” can be an interrogation.

Indeed it can be. Even more, in deed, in any deed, it is actually an interrogation. Yet it is also not.

It is valid for “A Poem?…

It is not a rhetorical question. It is not even an emblematic answer. Yet it is problematic.

It is a symbolic question. Yet it contains an example.

It is an example on an epistle. Yet not from an apostle. But from (apo) a philosopher.  It is a symbolic example of a letter sent (stellein) to (epi) a friend. It is an example of letter, indeed an example of symbol. It is a question asked in “a letter to a Japanese friend” countersigned by Derrida. It is a question given in an answer that had been promised to be “schematic and preliminary”. In it, there is the “with” of “-sym” as a thrownness (Geworfenheit) of an answer with its question: sunbolē.  Still they throw and send (envoi) an example towards what exceeds a symbol. Then “What is Poetry” becomes an epigraph. But not in the upper corner. Not in the upper corner as a hanging rule or suspended law like that of an epigraph, yet as quite like in its place of invention. In the place of its wake in the event of a letter. Like that of Derrida which asks to professor Izutsu, in the end of a letter; in its origin as the end of the letter, or in the end as the originality of the letter. In the site of event, Derrida asks: How to translate “poem”? A “poem”?…

A poem?…


What is Derrida?

A Derrida?…

A poem or a name. Is it possible to relocate them, as examples, into a question that quests with a copula of being? Not much the person or thing is that which is asked for; but, maybe the being of the question itself in the verb “is” matters here. Not even the interrogative adverb occurs to us as important as much as the verb that posits the being (and posits its being) in the question itself. Even the form of the adverb that neglects the difference between a personal noun and impersonal noun does not bother us. It did not bother Greeks (“ti esti;” as “who is” or “what is”), neither did it Derrida. Still, one wonders how it happens that a definite noun can be relocated into a question that asks for an indefinite noun. Isn’t it tantamount to replacing a particular for its universal? Isn’t it to remain indifferent to a zone of indifferenciation where particular and universal enter into a threshold of indetermination? Or instead, it may be a kind of vigilance or awareness that keeps one to remain with due determination vis-à-vis this zone of indifferenciation. One that finds in that zone an example. Or even better, one that finds in that zone the example.[1] Then this is a question of example. Still, not yet in the form of the question of example. That we will relocate…

What is Derrida?

A Derrida, for instance – and in the instant of many a text –, speaks of deconstruction. For example, in the instance of a “Letter to a Japanese Friend”. Although he rarely attempts to try to give direct answers to questions addressed to him as the subject of a text qua author or pointed to him as the subject of enunciation, there are often definitions in the Derridean text. Definitions without questions, but with its possibility to presuppose for us any question in the guise of “what is”. This unwritten “whatness” of a possible question does not impose any quiddity on the part of the text – although every quiddity tends to presuppose “quid est?”. Some of these definitions stand in proximity.  So we move on with definitions then.

1-    “Deconstruction is justice.”[2]

2-    “Deconstruction takes place in the gap that separates the undeconstructability of justice and the deconstructability of law. It is possible as an experience of the impossible.”[3]

3-    “Justice is an experience of the impossible.”[4]

From this set of definitions, one can arrive to the consequence that the possibility of justice is an experience of the impossible. For if deconstruction is justice (1), then the possibility of deconstruction (2) becomes also the possibility of justice. Therefore the possibility of justice is deconstruction as “an experience of the impossible” (3). But then one can ask: what is this experience of the impossible?

Deconstruction as the experience of the impossible appears in many topic throughout the Derridean corpus of texts. For example, in the “Invention of the Other”, this impossibility renders one aware contra any “danger for any task of deconstruction” to turn itself into a possibility: “The interest of deconstruction, of such force and desire as it may have, is a certain experience of the impossible: that is, as I shall insist in my conclusion, of the other —the experience of the other as the invention of the impossible, in other words, as the only possible invention.”[5] The invention of the other as the invention of the impossible is a certain experience of the impossible. And this experience of the impossible holds true, as far as it suits to the definition of the deconstruction, for the possibility of justice. The possibility of justice is the invention of the other as an experience of the impossible. Thus one may announce: If the possibility of justice is an experience of the impossible as the invention of other, then, to make justice to Derrida, if it is possible (in the impossibility of its invention[6]), is to invent Derrida as other.

How to invent the other? What does it entail to invent other? How come comes the invention to one as other? In the text that Derridean thought opens, invention comes (vient) sometimes without any invitation. The invention as other welcomes even that which comes uninvited, yet by saying “come (viens)” to that which comes (vient).[7] The venue, the place of coming of the other in which the other comes is the place of coming as in-vention. This place can be everywhere, but not an empirical place.[8] As for the instant of the invention, Derrida reminds that it is always still to come (à venir) in the future (l’avenir). Yet it also is always just have been arriving (in French it is said – only in an approximate translation –: il vient toujours d’arriver – intensity of the verb, “to come”, condenses itself in the tense of present perfect continuous).  The instant of invention, one may admit, is distant insofar as it is in an approximate proximity to come.  Time and place are not experienced as in a possibility of experience. The impossible presence of the invention presents not only a possibility of hospitality, but also the possibility of the event as a present. Present given, not to be exchanged with something, neither to be taken back, is not the possibility of experience but the experience of the impossible presented in the eventness of the invention. The event of the invention presents not only the impossible gift or the impossible hospitality, but also the impossible forgiveness. The impossibility of event thus gives the forgiving for a possibility in the uneconomical giving. For, “The event, if there is one, consists of doing the impossible.”[9]

Doing the impossible as the invention of the impossible corresponds then to the impossible invention as the event and coming of the impossible. The site of the invention is its site as a venue welcoming the eventness of an eventual possibility of the presence of the event of impossibility. In the event of (the) invention, its impossibility is essential to the eventness itself.

“In order to be event of invention, the invention must appear as impossible; that which was not possible becomes possible. In other words, the only possibility of invention, is the invention of the impossible. This utterance may appear as a play, a theoretical contradiction. In fact, I think that its necessity is most irreducible. If there is some invention – maybe there is never invention, just as there is never giving or forgiving – if there is some invention, it is possible on condition of being impossible. That which arrives, as event, must arrive only to where it is impossible. If it was possible, it is because it does not arrive.”[10]

If impossible event is the possibility of justice, than doing justice to Derrida is to invent him as other, in the invention as event. One may even claim that doing justice to Derrida is to invent him as Derrida-Event. But, can we say so? Can we say Derrida-Event? Furthermore, what is Derrida-Event? Is it an event with an example, or the event of an example?

What is Derrida-event? Can we say Derrida-Event? Can we say any event?

At least, Derrida asked whether one can say the event in “A Certain Impossible Possibility of Saying the Event”. A certain impossibility indeed (certes) is possible in the saying of the event. In deed, the event can be said inasmuch as it articulates a certainty on the impossibility of its possibility. In deed, it is possible to say an impossible event. And, in the Derridean text, the event is said in deed, in actions; and only in act. Although event is not possible as an actual reality that sets its full presence in front of us, the saying of the event has a certain actuality. The impossibility of saying the event is also the possibility of saying it only in acts, namely in a performance. For the performative happening of the event postpones the arriving of what is asserted in the event itself. In this respect, every speech-act is event. Every speech-act is deprived of the possibility of saying the act in so far as it is possible to present this impossibility in the act of saying.[11]

An event as a speech-act is invented thus as a possibility of reversing the promise, the contract, namely any convention. The possibility of convention amounts to impossibility of invention. Still, if there is a certain impossibility in the possibility of saying the event, it is also impossibility of executing the convention, or acting according to contract. The activation of any convention diverts the usage of speech, inverts the contract, reverses the promise. If there is convention in the name of (the) nomos, if there is a conventional law, it is for the reason that the  possibility of law does not exclude its impossibility, but rather includes its exception as an impossibility of implementing the law as a promise, as it is dictated or asserted. The assertion of nomos finds its performance in its actuality as the execution of exception: “An event is always exceptional, it is a possible definition of the event. An event must be exceptional, without rule. As soon as there are rules, norms, and therefore criteria for evaluating this or that, that which arrives or does not arrive, there is not event. The event must be exceptional and this singularity of exception without rule can give place only to symptoms”.[12] One may assert that this conforms (but exceptionally – in that symptomology prevails) to the structure of the state of exception: “In order to apply a norm, it is ultimately necessary to suspend its application, to produce an exception” [13][our emphasis].  Or one can say that it does not conform.

What is then the Derrida-Event if it is an event that is impossible to say save in a speech-act that will and shall be its own exception? And what will be the position of Derrida in regard to the state of exception in which any event as speech act is already framed? Does Derrida play here the role of an addendum, a supplementary insertion to what is already in a zone of indifferenciation. Or do not the frames (of this zone) form an example in which the play of example (spiel des Beispieles) locates as opus what cannot constitute a separate hors-d’oeuvre to any act? The Derridean text thus opens itself to a possibility of locating any example with its law or concept that it illustrates in the différance of the text.  So much so that, this differential illustration appears as one of the most appropriate approach to a text taken as an exemplary speech-act that diverts its assertions in the act of (re)writing that Derrida summons in order to designate the suspension of the intentional law of the text by its execution in its exceptional gaps. These gaps as erasures leave their trace in the invention of any text by Derrida-Event as trace. Can one separate a postcard (about Socrates and Plato) that illustrates the whole text of Postcard from the text itself? And can one separate Socrates from Plato? Which one is an example for the other? Who did invent mythological and exemplary background of the Psychoanalysis? Freud or Plato? Or who can decide what literature is or what it is not? Can one distinguish Kafka from Benjamin? Hegel from Genet? Who is who? What is who? At the limit – and at least – these are Derrida’s concerns. At the limit, and maybe at the threshold, our quest(ion): What is Derrida-Event?

If Derrida’s examples cannot be separated from the concepts that they refer to, it is for the reason that Derrida cannot be separated from the examples of its text. Doing justice to Derrida thus consists of doing the impossible as inventing Derrida in its own examples as other. This is an impossible task insofar as the possibility of distinguishing what example is from what the concept itself is, is hindered. Maybe this provides the possibility of invention of example as Derrida-Event, which creates a state of exception by assuming a threshold of indifferenciation between invention and examples, speech-act and event, law and example.

In order to open a frame for the textual example of this state of exception in the Derrida-Event, a frame on the frame, a text on an example of Kant, namely the text on parergon, may suit to illustrate an example of how the example and the text create the différance in the Derrida-Event.


If there is a difference between the invention and its example (in both sense, namely, the example of an invention and the example of invention), they are to yield their distinction to différance. And if the différance is of invention and example, because first of all it is stemming from the zone of indistinction that example creates. The différance in form of example. Difference in form and frame of example refers for Derrida, in the first instance, to a problem of the frame. Not only the example of frame, but the frame as example interests Derrida in the cadre of what Kant explains in his third critique. The issue seems to concern a critique of the power of judgment in which aesthetic judgments are analytically explained with their separate domain of judgments. For Derrida’s purposes, the judgment on the beautiful or on the sublime could have circumscribed the structure of its purpose. Yet the purposiveness without purpose (zweckmässigkeit ohne zweck), which allegedly pose the position of the first part (namely “the critique of the aesthetic power of judgment”), becomes for Kant the circumvention to which many of the examples are trapped. This trap becomes the passe-partout for the book of Derrida, The Truth In Painting. These examples are trapped, not because their invention is due to the circumvention of any inconvenient execution, but because they are framed by Derrida by means of the example of frame. The example of frame, becoming the main example or the main frame through which we observe Kant’s examples, serves as a passe-partout that illustrates the exclusive inclusiveness of the text’s edges. On the edge, bordure, and even on the main board of the text,[14] examples appear not as external extensions of definitions that Kant uses to clarify the main board of the text, not even as the supplementary models for supplying the subject of the argument, but rather as bordures that cannot be separated from the text itself. For Derrida, the process of exemplification has since from his earlier texts became crucial;[15] but in his approach to Kant, there is an elaboration of what already cannot be thought without examples in Kant. For, as far as the main example is parergon, that Kant uses in a subsection entitled “Clarification by Examples”, and as far as “example” occupies a place in the title, the importance of the examples calls for the attention of a subtle and attentive reader such as Derrida. Derrida is aware of the difference.

The validity of the examples, insofar as they are generated from the conceptual framework of the concepts, is problematized by Derrida for instance in the examples of ideal of beauty (such as horse, man and architecture – arsenal and other monuments –); in colossal and monstrous pertaining to Sublime; and in parergon, which is related with the beauty that must be purposive without a concept. Among these, parergon plays crucial role. It plays this role as it plays, for Kant, with the forms. This play (Spiel) becomes exemplary (Beispiel) for Derrida. While Kant explains the judgment of beauty as distinct from any sensation coming from the charm and satisfaction that the material of the object of the beauty provides, parergon becomes exemplary in that it conforms to the formal supply of what the beauty yields without any interest in its sensual and material properties. Parergon, as a hors-d’oeuvre (para-ergon) and ornament – although distinguished by Kant from sheer decoration – becomes an example for the deconstructive reading throughout the text of Parergon. Parergon is not a mere supplement to the beauty itself – it cannot be detached from the work. As an outwork, it is in the work. And “deconstruction must neither reframe nor dream pure and simple absence of the frame”.[16] As an indication of what a supplement is according to deconstruction, and just as the différance places itself in the gap between presence and absence, so does the parergon in the cutting-edge of outside and inside, in the border  of the frame both as a work and that which sustains the work by being an exception to it. It is the “example of an example which forms and formed by the frame”.[17]

The distinction between the colossal and the monstrous is also reshaped by Derrida insofar as the absoluteness in the magnitude of Sublime is concerned. But it is only by means of the examples, examples interwoven one in another, examples reformed and reframed that the Sublime and the Beauty will be resituated and posed, instead, and despite their oppositions, in a supposed différance, namely in a frame as parergon. Save this supposition, Derrida indicates some congruities between the structures of the judgment on the beautiful and on the sublime. Then accordingly “one can hardly speak of an opposition between the beautiful and the sublime”.[18] Nevertheless, we are warned: “But there cannot, it seems, be a parergon for the sublime” because “the colossal excludes the parergon”.[19] Yet, Derrida shows however, by means of an example, that there can be a sublime for the parergon. Here Derrida reminds us the example given by Kant: columns surrounding a building. Are these not a part of the monument? And should not they be included in the work itself? Or something else must be understood by parergon: “What constitutes them as parerga is not simply their exteriority as a surplus, it is the internal structural link which rivets them to the lack in the interior of the ergon. Then maybe one can deduce that the parergon includes the Sublime”.[20]

What Derrida offers as its own example, which may perturb all the problem of inclusion and exclusion of the examples, comes as a threefold exemplification. He asks: “And what about a frame framing a painting representing a building surrounded by columns in clothed human form?”.[21] A parergon including a colossal representation formed by a parergon. Here, one witnesses a double frame circumscribing a colossal figure. One may even adduce it as the inclusion of the sublime by beautiful form insofar as the sublime includes a form of beauty. Therefore instead of “excluding the parergon”, that which is colossal includes it. The colossal includes parergon inasmuch as the parergon includes colossal. Furthermore, one must take note of another inclusion that is not indicated in the text of Parergon. The colossal included by the parergon includes, as a parergon, a form of beauty as the ideal of beauty, namely the human form. Thus it is not only a form of inclusion formed between the examples of judgment of  beauty and sublime, but also, an inclusion even of the form itself as the ideal form. Although Kant makes a distinction between the idea and the ideal (that which concerns the idea itself and the correspondence of the idea of beauty with that which is said to represent this idea – “Properly speaking, an idea signifies a concept of reason, and an ideal the representation of an individual existence as adequate to an idea”,[22]) the same form of  distinction which is at stake for the beauty and the sublime – in that the beauty stems from the beautiful object and that the feeling of sublime is not provided by an external object –, is also placed in a threshold of indistinction concerning the idea and the ideal. Then, one may note that the example of beauty is on the edge and threshold where it does not exclude the example of sublime in condition that the edge and the frame itself is the frame of form as the ideal form. The superposition of examples is posited on (and due to) the position and the presupposition of the example itself as the ideal of beauty, for, according to Kant:

“Some products of taste are looked on as exemplary (exemplarisch) – not meaning thereby that by imitating others taste may be acquired. For taste must be an original faculty; whereas one who imitates a model, while showing skill commensurate with his success, only displays taste as himself a critic of this model (Muster). Hence it follows that the highest model, the archetype of taste, is a mere idea, which each person must beget in his own consciousness, and according to which he must form his estimate of everything that is an object of taste, or that is an example (Beispiel) of critical taste, and even of universal taste itself”.[23]

And Derrida is aware of the exemplarity of the ideal of the beauty too when he ask: “what does ideal mean?”. He then continues:

“Let us follow this schema of production. Not being conceptual, the exemplary cannot be imitated. One does not acquire taste by imitation. The judgment of taste, even if it refers to prototypical (exemplary) productions, must be autonomous and spontaneous. Hence the supreme model, the highest pattern (das hochste Muster), can be only an idea, a mere idea which everyone must produce (hervorbringen) in himself and according to which he must judge everything that is an object of taste. There must be a pattern but without imitation. Such is the logic of the exemplary, of the autoproduction of the exemplary, this metaphysical value of production having always the double effect of opening and closing historicity. Since everyone produces the idea of taste, it is never pregiven by a concept: the production of the idea is historical, a series of inaugurations without prescription. But as this production is spontaneous, autonomous, free at the very moment when, by its freedom, it rejoins a universal fund, nothing is less historical.

The autoproduction of the Muster (pattern, paradigm, paragon) is the production of what Kant calls first an idea, a notion which he specifies at once by substituting for it that of ideal. The idea is a concept of reason, the ideal is the representation of a being or of a particular essence adequate to that idea. If we follow here this value of adequation, we find the dwelling place of mimesis in the very place from which imitation seems excluded.  And at the same time, of truth as adequation in this theory of the beautiful”.[24]

Here the being-model of the example comes into prominence. Musterhaft is the model, a pattern merely as idea that mustn’t be “imitated”. The musterhaft cannot be imitated, but it is at the same time an exemplarity (exemplarisch) without a concept, meaning that the example (Exempel) of the judgment of the taste about beauty can be judged as model only for himself.[25] But the Exempel mustn’t be confused with the Beispiel (example), which gives “an empirical criterion of the derivation of taste”.[26] The Exempel as the case of a practical rule is different from the Beispiel as a particular instance “represented in accordance with concepts as contained under a universal, and is a presentation of a concept merely for theory”.[27] Exempel as a moral example by means of which a “maxim of virtue” can be established cannot be imitated. For, the example (as an exemplary conduct) cannot yield a maxim of virtue as a model (Muster) for others: “A good example (exemplary conduct) should not serve as a model, but only as a proof that it is really possible to act in conformity with duty”. [28]

One may then arrive at this conclusion: The example (Exempel) – that cannot be imitated – mustn’t be a model (Muster), which cannot be imitated. Either the example is also a model; or example, by being defined by means of same property with the model, imitates the example. Or we need further definitions for some elucidation on this threshold. We have two different formulas in the texts of Kant concerning being-model (musterhaft) in respect to genius. Derrida too quotes them in “Invention of the Other”. Yet, Derrida does not point to the différance provided by these two formulas. However the form of the formula can be framed as a state of exception in which one meaning exceptionally opposes to the other one in a superposition of definitions. Accordingly:

“Inventing something is entirely different from discovering something. For the thing that one discovers is accepted as already existing beforehand, it is only that it was not yet known; for example, America before Columbus. But what one invents, for example, gunpowder, was not yet known at all before the artist who made it. Both discovery and invention can be meritorious. However, one can find something that one does not look for at all (like the alchemist who found the phosphorus [our emphasis]), and there is no merit whatsoever in it – now the talent for inventing is called genius. But we confer this name only on an artist, therefore on one who knows how to make something, not on one who is merely acquainted with and knows many things. However, it is also not conferred on an artist who merely imitates, but rather on one who is disposed to produce his Works originally; finally, it is conferred on this artist only when his product is exemplary, that is, when it serves as an example (examplar) to be imitated – so a human being’s genius is “the exemplary originality of his talent” (in respect to this or that kind of artistic product).”[29]

A human being’s genius as “the exemplary originality (musterhafte Originalität) of his talent” is also an example; an example to be imitated (by others) – maybe, one might say, in order to be the genius and invention of other as other’s invention –. Then, now it is clearer that the example (Exempel) and the model (Muster) are same. And it is to say also that not only example and the model are same, but also they imitate each other. Moreover, with this latter definition, their sameness does not account for the impossibility of imitation, but instead they encourage (as genius does) the imitation; they serve as a model of imitation in which imitation of example is welcomed. The genius welcomes the imitation of example as the invention of other. Inversely too, the model invites the invention of other as the example. The difference between the example and the model exemplifies not only itself, not even only the framing of the frame through that which exceeds the frame (Outside as Colossal example) in form of the exemplification of the example by that which stands outside the example (model); but frame and example enters into a threshold where they are indifferent whether they imitate each other or not. So maybe the example of parergon derives its differential possibility from the impossible difference between the example and model. So much so that it holds true for the impossible difference between the example and parergon. Their impossible difference forms and frames the possibility of différance.  Still, one might ask: Is Derrida aware of the différance?

Are we aware of the différance? Not until the reiterability by means of imitation is necessitated by Kant as the mentally healthy functioning of the genius. For this to be working, one must not liberate the imagination in order to create “an originary folly” which wouldn’t be exemplary (musterhaft).

“The proper field for genius is that of the power of imagination, because this is creative and, being less under the constraint of rules than other faculties, it is thus all the more capable of originality. – It is true that the mechanism of instruction always requires the student to imitate. But every art still requires certain mechanical basic rules, namely rules concerning the appropriateness of the product to the underlying idea; that is, truth in the presentation of the object that one is thinking of. Now this must be learned by school rigor, and is indeed always an effect of imitation. However, to free the power of imagination even from this constraint and allow the talent proper to it to proceed without rules and swoon, even against nature, might deliver original folly, but it would certainly not be exemplary and thus also would not be counted as genius”.[30]

Although the power of imagination is the “proper field” for the genius, it mustn’t function “against nature”, namely against the mechanical rules that are to be imitated by the genius. A genius then not only serves as a generic source of ingenious ideas and rules, it also must comply with what is already generated by nature as mechanical rules to be imitated. These mechanical rules seize the liberty of nature as the law of liberty: “The law of nature always lies at the basis of its [understanding] most ordinary judgments, even those of experience. Thus it has the law of nature always at hand, only that in cases where causality from freedom is to be appraised it makes that law of nature merely the type of a law of freedom, because without having at hand something which it could make an example in a case of experience, it could not provide use in application for the law of a pure practical reason”.[31] As an example-at-hand, the position (Setzung) of the existence is determined in the service for the case of experience coming from the law (Gesetz) of nature. So , the proper field of genius must not liberate the imagination in order to comply with the law of liberty that can be served as an example (Beispiel) for the genius that is not going to be “against nature” in order to “be” an exemplary model (Muster) for others.

One must be aware of this subtle difference in the Kantian domain of imagination in order to become a genius, a talent that invents but at the same time a talent that complies with the nature as the procurer of examples for the execution of the imagination according to mechanical rules. One must also wary others with its genius for this double bind: the danger of the freedom of imagination and the awe for the examples to come (venir) for a future (à venir) generation of geniuses. For they must revere to this awareness. Then the différance becomes not only the form of indifferenciation as the superposition of the examples (Exempel, Muster, Beispiel), but also the frame of indistinction where the awe for the Sublime and an awareness of the example enters into a zone of indetermination with the reverence to the Law. For, as one might recall, Kantian practical law calls for the respect in the examples of morality:

“Actions of others that are done with great sacrifice and for the sake of duty alone may indeed be praised by calling them noble and sublime [our emphasis], but only insofar as there are traces suggesting that they were done wholly from respect [our emphasis] for duty and not from ebullitions of feeling. But if one wants to represent these to someone as examples to be imitated, respect for duty (which is the only genuine moral feeling) must be used as the incentive – this earnest, holy precept that does not leave it to our vain self-love to dally with pathological impulses (as far as they are analogous to morality), and to credit ourselves with meritorious worth. If only we search carefully we shall find for all actions that are praiseworthy of a law of duty, which commands and does not leave it to our discretion to choose what may be agreeable to our propensity. This is the only way of representing them that educates the soul morally, because it alone is capable of firm and accurately determined principles.[32]


“ ‘Do not use epigraph, for it kills the secret in the writing!’             Adli

‘If it will be killed thus, then you too kill the secret, kill the fake prophet that sells secret!’


Orhan Pamuk, The Black Book

“We convinced immediately some friends and a few people to help us to clean and restore the shrine. After cleaning dirt and garbage covering all over the shrine, we mounted the glasses, and then we gathered the epitaph (kitabe) scattered on the terrain; after foiling it in the studio of our classmate Semih’s father, we fixed it to where it belongs.”

Kudsi Erguner, The fountain of separation

In respect of the form of respect that one finds in the example of practical law, one can also form the example in form of the respect, and especially in form of the respect in form of an example. But then, the form of example and the example as form, as it is the case in the example of frame, will be interlaced. Thus one can encounter in such an intertwining a model of formal respect as much as the respect for the reverence on formalism. The respect for the example will transfer its significance, in such a position, to the respect as example, to the respect as the form of example. It is already significant to remind that respect and reverence replaces not only the form of the reverence for what it is the example of, but also the example of the form and frame as that which comes from the structure of colossal, namely from the sublime. The example becomes the example of invention inasmuch as the invention creates the example as its form of application for others, in a formalized manner but also in a formalized respect. What is formal is what impels respect. And as the respect formalizes its example through invention, the frame that includes in itself the colossal (example of Sublime) in form of a clothed (framed – and formalized) human form becomes an example in the example of an example of Derrida.

Too many examples, too many formalism, and a bit of bureaucracy too. If Derrida-event is an invention as event in which the example as Derrida is invited as other, as an example; and if, on the other side, the invention of example is exemplified in the formalism of frames (as parerga), than, one can add many other frames in that specific example that Derrida-Event is. In a frame – for example –, Derrida-Event as a speaker (doing the speech-act – and theorizing on speech-act). In another frame (this time a picture), Derrida as an invited example to a conference (for example in a conference room of a State University, in Istanbul, Turkey), presenting a paper (another frame as a text), while sitting under a colossus which upholds a frozen figure (as a fige-ure) and which holds an epigraph (quite like and epitaph). The frozen-figure is a sculptured (medusa-like) head of the founder (and inventor) of the Republic of Turkey. The writing under the sculpture is a hardly readable – but insofar as it reads, it is written something like “the Sublime (Sâni – meaning exalted and doubled, which is also etymologically same with the root of Masnawi, the poetry of Mowlana Jalal ad-Din Rumi ) of our nation and…”, an eulogy written in praise of the founder. The inventor of the modern Turkey, as the head of (t)his invention becomes an example in the frame that signifies the formalism and the bureaucracy of a state university. We are not away from the law of freedom that has its mechanical examples. The example as frame, or the frame in examples, is here a picture that symbolizes the example itself inasmuch as the symbolic structure of the state is exemplified. The colossal figure (already a parergon), one can maybe claim, is trapped in the frame; it is framed in its being ornament as the condition of possibility of the state on which the university is dependant (Turkish universities are not autonomous places of academic research since the military coup of 1980 – although now there is somewhat a democratic regime). But, there is no need for the trap; even the Derridean example is not at play here (namely “a frame framing a painting representing a building surrounded by columns in clothed human form”); for the colossal itself intrudes, intervenes, includes itself as a bureaucratic symbol. The colossal symbolizes itself as much as the frame of formalism circumvents the example in form and sculpture of the sublime inventor. Moreover, one may allege that the colossus of a sublime inventor, invents itself in the examples that symbolizes the respect for the law. The sublime inventor exemplifies the invention in order that the invention as a state of symbolism frames (as parergon) the Sublime State – and even traps another state, the Ottoman State, as Sublime Gate (Bab-I Ali) –.

What is an invented state then? For the state of invention as The Sublime Gate (Bab-I Ali), the Ottoman State, was also a bureaucratic state.  The state was itself sustaining a symbolic tradition of conventions that since the beginnings of 19th century had been invented, especially in western manner   – a new military system (Nizam-ı Cedid), with new bureaucratic rules (for example a monotypic formal hat, namely fas, for the civil servants; and also the obligation of showing on the wall of every state office the picture of the sultan, initiated with Mahmud II ),  steps to initiate methods and techniques of police-state (teshkilat-ı Mahsusa), etc. Invention of convention was not a new issue for the newly founded and invented state of Turkey. Yet, the form of convention itself, the contract upon which the state structured itself was not a constitution before then. Although there were some attempts in the past before the foundation of Republic of Turkey, they haven’t been executed and thus have been cancelled.

Although it is a sine qua non for any constitution to execute its laws by inserting its validity and effectivity upon the gap its exception as the suspension of the constitution places inside the constitution itself,[33] there was not the presence of the constitution even as a possibility for its suspension until 1921. According to Agamben, the possibility of the suspension of law that is inherent to constitution comes from its exception. And the structure of modern politics (and states) is a state of exception that appears clearly with the definition of modern biopolitics:

“What characterizes modern politics is not so much the inclusion of zoē in the polis – which is, in itself, absolutely ancient – nor simply the fact that life as such becomes a principal object of the projections and calculations of State power. Instead the decisive fact is that, together with the process by which the exception everywhere becomes the rule, the realm of bare life – which is originally situated at the margins of the political order – gradually begins to coincide with the political realm, and exclusion and inclusion, outside and inside, bios and zoē, right and fact, enter into a zone of irreducible indistinction. At once excluding bare life from and capturing it within the political order, the state of exception actually constituted, in its very separateness, the hidden foundation on which the entire political system rested.”[34]

This zone of indistinction is overtly and expressly apparent in modern constitutions. And a bureaucratic state organization à la Europe, as it is noted earlier in the text, had been already dominating the structure of political and social life. Not only something like the modern term “right” had been being inserted into the domain of  “law” and politics (Gülhane-i Hatt-ı Hûmayun), but also something like exception was entering, beside its examples in the political area, to the cultural and social life as something new, something other. This exception was “The West”. The West versus the East has been and is being problematized nearly through every aspect of life since the early attempts of Turkish modernization.

The East and the West may be two antinomies, nomos and exception, in the state of exception in which modern Turkey is. Yet, this state of exception is also a frame in which the East and the West form each other, especially in cultural works. Derrida, the writer of différance, the one who writes on that which is writing through (dia) the passage (pherein) of text, in one of his marginal texts – a text in Marges –, a text on the metaphor (meta-pherein), namely “White Mythologies”, transfers an exemplary philosopher, Hegel, to the fore of the problem of metaphor. Hegel, through the text of Derrida, says:

“Not only the Greek philosophers, like Plato and Aristotle, or great historians and orators, like Thucydides and Demosthenes, but also the great poets, Homer and Sophocles, on the whole stick almost always to literal expressions (eigentlichen Ausdrucken), although similes (Gleichnisse) do also occur. Their plastic severity and solidity does not tolerate the sort of blending involved in metaphor or permit them to stray hither and thither away from the homogenous material and the simple, self-contained, complete cast, in order to gather up so-called ‘flowers’ of expression (sogennante Blumen des Ausdrucks aufzulesen) here and there. But metaphor is always an interruption of the course of ideas (Vorstellungsganges) . . . On the other hand, it is particularly the East, especially the later Mohammedan poetry, which uses figurative expressions and indeed has them of necessity.”[35]

This is for Derrida one of the best examples of the attitudes towards the metaphor that is appropriated by a philosophy of the “proper” (eigentlich) that attributes in the first instance to what is metaphor the heliotropic figure. The figure as the image of the “eidolagraphic” thought characterizes the tropic position of the metaphor. What is passed from signifying figure to signified meaning is always conducted by the agility of a separation which freezes the element of manner, style, form and ways of doing (as the meta of the metaphor) for the sake of the presence of the sense and the sense of the present meaning that is to be achieved by philosophy. Yet this passage never ceases, and the heliotropic blossoming of the language through metaphors cannot exhaust itself in the frozen meaning of withered words:

“…Such a flower always bears its double within itself, whether it be seed or type, the chance of its program or the necessity of its diagram. The heliotrope can always be relevé. And it can always become a dried flower in a book. There is always, absent from every garden, a dried flower in a book; and by virtue of the repetition in which it endlessly puts itself into abyme, no language can reduce into itself the structure of an anthology. This supplement of a code which traverses its own field, endlessly displaces its closure, breaks its line, opens its circle, and no ontology will have been able to reduce it. Unless the anthology is also a lithography. Heliotrope also names a stone: a precious stone, greenish stone, greenish and streaked with red veins, a kind of oriental jasper.”[36]

Yet there seems to be a medusa-like stone, and even a writing of the stone, that doesn’t seem to obey to the rule of heliotropic heat of the metaphoric meaning nor to its freezing significations. The difference of the metaphor finds its metaphoric difference in the phosphorous and flowered concepts as philosophy. Philosophy is then, in the Derrida-event, the play of rainbow like metaphors (red or green) in a stony board of flowered text. And the thought of it is not only differential, but also phosphorous. Passing the play of lights, in a metaphorical surface or board, philosophy, is here, if it has a metaphorical color, a phosphorous (phos-phereinlight conducing) invention. Hence an invention – and why not – of a genius – in this case, that of Derrida –. Let us remember Kant’s notice: “(like the alchemist who found the phosphorus), now the talent for inventing is called genius”.

In this phosphoric textual space that philosophy opens, there are references in as much as there are differences. References inside the references. Passages through the passages. Cyclical writings, encyclopedical transferences. And Hegelian concepts and examples. Examples in the Hegelian philosophy cannot be separated from the concepts. One of these examples concerns, again, “muhammadan” poetry: Mowlana Jalal ad-Din Rumi.  Rumi is quoted by Hegel, nearly in the end of his encyclopedia. In the last section of the Philosophy of Spirit, Rumi is epitomized as an “excellent” poet that exemplifies “the unity of spirit with the One”. The comment on the poem is given shortly by Hegel in order to sublate (aufheben) this “pantheist” poetry in the philosophy as the true and effective unity of the spirit with reason and nature. Although the reference to Rumi is given through the text and is commented upon, in the end of text, a silent quotation from Aristotle’s Metaphysics “in original Greek” without any transference of language is placed in the end of the book. In the cyclical thought of Hegel, then, Rumi, one of the examples of the poetry, is framed, in spite of its “improper metaphors”, as a proper example of the unity within the spirit. The example is appropriated thus in the text. Nevertheless, Aristotle, as the one who first in the philosophy of history made clear demarcations on the subject of metaphor for the sake of excluding it from definitions of metaphysical structure of arguments,  is given out of the cycle, maybe as an example that cannot be  appropriated because of the fact that it is the proper inventor of philosophy.

Maybe. But one clearly gets noticed of the epigraphic character of the philosophy as example, as a respectable example of what the thought is. So epigraphical that it is, reversely, placed in the end of the textual space, as a frozen writing. As an unreadable and old language just like that which is situated  on an ottoman gravestone. As an epitaph which is written on the stone, as the writing of stone, as a lithography, the text of philosophy becomes the writing on the colossal stone that is respected in the edge and threshold of Hegel’s philosophy. The improper example leaves its trace in the text although the proper example leaves itself as an example of trace, namely a difference of colossal parergon.

Does this indicate to the death of an example? Is there a death of the example? Insofar as Kudsi Erguner reminds us (with the example of destructed gravestones), a republic that condemns its cultural history in order to invent the new as its examples, tried to efface the  traces of already dead stones of dead people written with a dead language (ottoman Arabic alphabet). If this may be a death for the examples, it is not for the reason that those sculptural works of art are broken. Instead, the idea of a death of these examples is inherited from a discourse of symbolic universe in which symbols are thought to have extinguished their function. One of the very first examples of this discourse of symbolic death can be found in the poetry. Researchers, with their anthologies, had tried to prove the symbolic death of Ottoman State through the death of symbol in cultural life. Poetry is one site of this so-called death.

One of the most mentioned example of this symbolic death in the ottoman poetry is Sheikh Galib. It is generally thought that Galib arrived, with its poems, to the apex of the classical ottoman poetry, written in “arûz” rhythm and in rimes.[37] This apex is considered also as an end. Not that the style and rules of classical poetry is abandoned, but just after the Death of Galib (1799), a debate on the modernity surrounding the manners and kinds of artistic production was being affecting the conception of art that “new” and “westernized” intellectual elites offered.[38]

Victoria Holbrook, who meticulously worked and created comprehensive studies on Galib, epitomizes the “discourse” of the symbolic death of the Ottoman poetry by taking into account both the orientalist and nationalist views. The old versus the new was in the centre of the discourse as Holbrook demonstrates it. So much so that, the author defines the motto of the nationalist critics, in an elliptical sense, as “being Turkish is being new”.[39] Originality and innovation, in this discourse, seems as the cancellation; if not, as the suspension of the classical symbolic poetry. Yet, for Holbrook, what was new, what was one of the aspects of the Galib’s poetry was “its execution of the death of allegory”.[40]

How is it possible for allegory to die? Isn’t it also the death of symbol? Or to put it rightly, does not the “Symbolic” execute already the limit, death and annihilation of presence, in order to suspend its repetition in the representation as being of the language? Before arriving to the borders of these questions, one might wonder the example of Galib. For, it seems, Galib arrived uninvited to the exemplary frame of what Derrida invents as his own example in Istanbul. Though, it is a possibility, still for us, as part of a hospitality that Derrida offers in his intertextuality, to invite Galib to the example of invention.


Who is Galib?

What is Galib-Event

A Galib-Event…

Uninvited, he goes to Konya, where Mowlana Jalal ad-Din Rumi founded his dergâh (dervish convent), leaving Istanbul some times after completing his chef d-oeuvre (or hors d’oeuvre as parergon) Hüsn-ü Aşk (Beauty and Love). He goes there to enter into halvet, to become one with its-self and meditate. Then his father, missing his son, invites him to Istanbul to complete his six month askesis (halvet). Then, in Istanbul, later on, he becomes Şeyh (sheikh), the master of all the mewlevi murids (followers of religious order founded after Mowlana) of Kulekapı Mevlevihanesi in Galata.

Invited often to the Ottoman palace, to the court of beloved friend Sultan Selim III, who initiated reforms in the Ottoman army system and political life, Galib wrote poems for his majesties and his reforms (even one about the new building of Baruthane, arsenal[41] – one remembers the examples [one of which is surely arsenal] of adherent beauties that Kant gives in order to distinguish them from the free beauties[42]).  In return, Sultan Selim III also is invited to the Mevlevihane, as a mürid (adherent) of his sheikh. Both two adhered to each others. Moreover, the new founded military order (Nizam-ı Cedid, which means “new order”), replacing the “old” janissaries following the Bekhtashi religious order, adhered to mewlevi order.[43]

In between the differences of old and new, there was also the problem of religion and state, and that of invention and theft. In between the differences of these worlds, there is the poetry as symbolic world. There are metaphors and diaphoras. Namely there is différance: In which frame was writing Galib? The frame as the metaphor, the work of art as parergon, and the state as a state that will be named Bab-I Ali, Sublime Gate. The gate in the frames, the gate through the frames, as in the state that founded itself in the ashes of the old with the invention of the constitution (the picture of Derrida), opens a window to the poem of Galib, in as much as Galib invites the symbols of the power in his poems.[44] The ottoman state is a metaphor (mejaz – meaning also bridge) for the poetry, insofar as the symbolic diaphora (as a gate and bridge) of the poetry is the symbol of the Ottoman state. Ottoman state becomes then, a state of metaphor as much as a state as metaphor (for the poetry). Both Ottoman State and Şeyh Galib are examples of invention in that they are, as metaphors, gates – mejaz, ijaz– for others, symbols of symbols. Being a symbol of a symbol, in a state where art represented reality in symbols, is an invention. The symbolic state as a state of invention is also symbolized as the invention itself in the poetry and genius of Galib.[45] The state of invention as a metaphor may be thought to be the symbolic generator of the state of exception that modern Turkey will be. And that, in the zone of indistinction that the genus and its specie gives.

There is, in every constitution, a name that entitles the constitution. Like “The Constitution of Turkish Republic”. This nomination, separately of the state of exception that the constitution possesses, presents a second state of exception in respect of its relation with the constitution itself. For, if constitution is already a genus, the name of the genus is already included in a specific constitution that the constitution of Turkish Republic constitutes. Like the names of the species in the taxonomic list of animals, a constitution includes its generic name on its title. Like felix domesticus. Yet, in a specific constitution, Turkey is not a specie, but a proper name. Therefore, a constitution is always a constitution which relocates its proper name in its title as a specific name. Or, inversely, a constitution is a specific constitution which suspends its specificity with its proper name. There can be also another approach. A constitution is that of a proper name of a state that names itself with the name of that which it is the specie of. For example, Socrates has a name. His name is Socrates. But think that we call him “Name of Socrates”. The constitution of X has also the same logic. The genus (constitution) is regenerated in a specific name of this genus. But why would any constitution need that paradox?

Why would not a state name its law (solely) as law? This might emanate from the logic of language itself. But, in the example of the constitution, this principle is overtly accepted as an exception that name bears with itself. Why not just to say constitution or law? Does a state need to show that its laws pertain to itself? Then, if these laws pertain to this state, should we still call them law? These questions will make sense as questions in suspension. And they are already in suspension as the specific name of the constitution that adjoins to its genus. The general name as the genus, or the name as the name of nomos, namely law, is suspended with another name which tries to validate its specificity with the difference that it presents by being a subordinate conjunction to the law. The law becomes a law, and the x that appertains to the law becomes, by suspending the universality of law, “the constitution of x”. X becomes the exception of the name. A state becomes the exception of the law, by appropriating the law as its law. A state, creating a threshold between the genus and specie for its differential property, becomes différance.  The state thus becomes, besides its executive logic, through its name, a state of exception insofar as it has a constitution. Agamben recognized this executive logic that gives its (exceptional) principle to names in the language as the nomos of logos:

“Language is the sovereign who, in a permanent state of exception, declares that there is nothing outside language and that language is always beyond itself. The particular structure of law has its foundation in this presuppositional structure of human language. It expresses the bond of inclusive exclusion to which a thing is subject because of the fact of being in language, of being named. To speak [dire] is, in this sense, always to “speak the law,” ius dicere”.[46]

The state of exception that language confers to the law is not always thought to be apparent to the language it uses in the law itself as that confirms and posits the state of exception. Constitutional language has a correspondence in this respect with the law itself. Its name already proves that. However, a state of invention such as Ottoman state in the late eighteenth century does not posit its exceptional logic neither in the law nor in the social life. But, the metaphor of metaphor, as in the poem of Galib, with its double genitive, generate its name as the name of the metaphor which serves as the metaphor of the name itself.[47]

The Title of the Mesnevi of Galib, Hüsn-ü Aşk, is the title of a romance in which Beauty (Hüsn) and Love (Aşk) are the name of metaphors which are personalized (teshis) in order to symbolize love and beauty. Symbols symbolizing themselves (besides anything else that they may refer to, for example, in the first instance, God and its reflection –also in the human self –) may be encountered in the mesnevi tradition of Persian and ottoman poetry. For instance, “Conference of the Birds” of Ferid ud-Din Attar is one of these. In it, many birds are looking for the Simurg (which will be revealed in the end of the story as the unity of thirty birds – namely si murg –) while passing from different canyons in order to reach their aim.[48] Those canyons are named for example “demand”, “unity”, “love” or “enthusiasm”. Those are symbols symbolizing themselves but they are also exemplified canyons. In Beauty and Love, although beauty and love are personalized, they are not mentioned as “man” or “woman”. They are described with human attributes, yet they are not strictly human. Here, there is not a Psyche as a girl who is beautiful or an Eros as a man who represents love. In Hüsn-ü Aşk we do not have an invented Psyche; we have a Beauty who invents its other as the same invents itself in the other. Invention of other by Beauty is the Invention of Love for Beauty.   In that invention, what is the part of Galib? What did he invent beside the symbols symbolizing themselves? Was it he who invented these symbols or its examples? Did he create the examples or just signaled them in the difference that his text shows in the gap that his genius opens?

One might think that genius calls, when it arrives, to write in order to invent; yet, as Agamben rightly puts it, “1 (Ego) feel that somewhere Genius exists, that there is in me an impersonal power that presses toward writing. But this Genius, who has never taken up a pen (much less a computer) – has no inclination to produce a work”.[49] And the work is there as example, as a “property of the common”[50] that one does not hesitate to appropriate in order to reshape and reformulate it in the frames that one structures in parergon. Apart from many gates and frames that the metaphors and diaphoras of Galib’s poem opens, one frame circumscribes especially what the poetry is. Galib’s poem, in a debate on poetry, opens a space for his challenge with the ones who claim, in a conversation with friends, that there can be no more poetry (173-184). This, explains Galib in his poem, is the reason why he wrote his poem. This, and some good parts about poetry, as well as the need for poetry, and the endless possibility for the production of poetry in need of supporting the proof of Qur’an (stemming from a challenge, that is reminded by Galib, offered by God himself in order to prove that nothing as in the style of Qur’an can be created as poetry), appears in the poem. There are also several manifestations of author’s voice sometimes as humble producer of his poem, and sometimes arrogant inventor of the new versus what represents the imitation and copy. These frames are suspended especially in between what seems to be the generation of an idiomatic example of poetry and the specific genus of what poetry should do as a rule. Thus the invention of a poetical example of a different style becomes entangled with the generation of invention as an example of imitating the best examples of poetry. The genius and the generosity are in a frame of indifferenciation in Galib’s poem.

One can’t deem that parts as digressions, or borders that go outside the story of a romance.[51] The poem is written with its why. The symbols may not have their why, but the poem is a frame on its reason. It suspends the reason by poetizing on that which cannot be poetized. The poem as symbolic symbol of Beauty and Love symbolizes itself in a double frame. One step further would be a poem named poem that poetizes on itself. A Fable for example –an example that is shown by Derrida, Fable as the name of a Poem that poetizes about the fable. “This text is called ‘Fable’. This title is its proper name and it embraces, so to speak, the name of a genre. A title, always unique, like a signature, is confused here with a genre name; an apt comparison would be a novel entitled Novel, or an invention called ‘Invention’. And we can bet that this fable entitled ‘Fable’, and constructed like a fable right through to its concluding ‘moral’ [moralité], will treat the subject of the fable. The fable, the essence of the fabulous about which it will claim to be stating the truth, will also be its general subject. Topos: fable”[52]. Thus a poem on poem as much as a frame on frame would be a parergonal  speech-act.[53]

We do not have a poem named “poem” in Galib’s example. We do not have the exception to the genre in the name of the genre as a specific example. In this sense, Galib does not make a constitutionalized poem (although it seems to be institutionalized). The poetry of Galib is not in the state of exception. Yet it is parergonal. Beauty and Love is an example of différance in that it is the symbol of symbol while it does not name itself so, and while it tries also to designate specific examples in order to interrupt this différance. But in it, there are symbols. Symbols persist and endeavor to insist as symbols for the (sake of) examples. Therefore, it is impossible to say that it executed “the end of allegory”.[54]

Still, “Metaphor, then, always carries its death within itself. And this death, surely, is also the death of philosophy”.[55] The allegory too has not a free death. It is always an impossible death, which arrives always late (après coup) and sudden (tout d’un coup) even if it has arrived with an urgency like that of a state of urgency that a military coup imposes on a country. The death is always adherent to its law. There is no exception to death. But death arrives in an event (even of invention) with its exception: life. The death of allegory thus would be the death of différance. For, in Derrida-Event différance is subjected to a play of death and life in the borders of writing: “Writing is not an independent order of signification; it is weakened speech, something not completely dead: a living-dead, a reprieved corpse, a deferred life, a semblance of breath”[56]. Gravestones as desublimized parergonal excesses too, qua living-deads, indeed as excrements of a city, are like epitaphs and epigraphs abandoned because they are thought to be supplementary and accessory. Like the “old poetry” now poisoning with its writing the new generations, it must be hindered for the geniuses to come. Thus lithography becomes for a new republic a kind of history that threatens the life of memory. One must forget in order to remember a-new.

What yields the différance as writing cannot be separated easily from what gives a speech-act as event. The logocentric access to difference of writing goes together with the contractual and conventional eventness of laws in the forms of performative statements of acts.[57] The actualization of logos through the relegation of writing to death is tantamount to actualization of a possibility of true-saying in the performed words. That’s why, it seems, the respect for the colossal and contractual performances and for the promises of the inventors (even of states) can be established with the death of the old colossal examples of parergonal stones. But lithos cannot be the Sublime itself.[58] That’s why lithography is not a historiography. Nevertheless, in a state of exception, awareness of history undifferentiates itself from the awe of lithos (which seems to be idiographic, even eidolagraphic).

However, something exceeds the stone. Writing tries to exceed the stone. What is on the stone seems to be the law of what is on the poem. The title of the poem as the name and nomos of the poem as what is said – in other words gedichtdictates; but without dictator examples of performances which are not yet to be called speech-acts. A poem seems to indicate something on and over the stone. On and over the rainbowlike stone. Epitaph on a stone becomes then metataph. And epigraph becomes metagraph. Over the symbol, can a poem point, with its finger, to a non indexed event? If so, can it, with its parergonal position, and without even intending to annul and annihilate the symbol in another economic usage of words, invent the example? How a poem can invent its example as a poem-event that a poet-event can write? Therefore, would not a poem-event enter into a zone of indistincion with the poet-event? An example of an example, which seems not to be concurrent with a symbol of a symbol, we shall confront with then.


In Kant invention is different than finding:  “Inventing (erfinden) something is entirely different from discovering (entdecken) something. For the thing that one discovers is accepted as already existing beforehand, it is only that it was not yet known”. For Kant, something already existing beforehand (schon existirend angenommen) cannot be a thing to be invented. More than the question of the priority of inventing over discovering, or rather than the answer about the primacy of inventing over discovering; the primordiality of the problem of the thing is encountered in this definition. What is this thing to be discovered if it already exists? Whence does come the invention if the thing that is going to be invented is not already there?[59] Without any hustle on the decision about existence, the invention appears as such with its uniqueness. As an event, it is there with its uniqueness.

“It discovers for the first time, it unveils what was already found there, or produces what, as tekhnē, was not already found there but is still not created, in the strong sense of the word, is only put together, starting with a stock of existing and available elements, in a given configuration. This configuration, this ordered totality that makes an invention and its legitimation possible, raises all the problems you know about, whether we refer to cultural totality, weltanschauung, epoch, epistemē, paradigm, or what have you. However important and difficult these problems may be, they all call for an elucidation of what inventing means and implies. In any event, Ponge’s “Fable” creates nothing, in the theological sense of the word (at least this is apparently the case); it invents only by having recourse to a lexicon and to syntactical rules, to a prevailing code, to conventions to which in a certain fashion it submits itself. But it gives rise to an event, tells a fictional story, and produces a machine by introducing a disparity or gap into the customary use of discourse, by upsetting to some extent the mind-set of expectation and reception that it nevertheless needs; it forms a beginning and it speaks of that beginning, and in this double, indivisible movement, it inaugurates. This double movement harbors the singularity and novelty without which there would be no invention.”[60]

In this sense, a fable-poem invents its uniqueness in the event that it is. By inventing itself as an example of poetry in which the fable-poem traces its traits as poem, by giving the definition of itself as that which exemplifies what is written on and over the poem (epigraph as title), the law of the event as a fable-poem tells (fabulare) and says what it does in the performance of saying. The fable-poem as a speech-act invents its definition as assertion in the act of reinventing and citing itself: “Par le mot par commence donc ce texte” (From the word from begins thus this text).  For, “The inventive event is the quotation [citation] and the narrative [récit].[61] An inventory of what there is in the text can be found in the event of text. The text exemplifies its event by inventing its example as itself in the text. The invention becomes the frame of the text inasmuch as the text becomes the frame of the example of the event. Invention that invents the event as example invents thus its example as invention of the other. The event-example and the invention-example encounter each other in the poem. The encounter as discovery of the definition of its title as the name and nomos of what designates the poem, finds its example by inventing other in the act of poetry. The name becomes the example of the name. Nomos as example, can it be an example of example? Can a poem that recites other poems be an exemplary example of invention? Or, instead, cannot the example as event be positioned on and over the text as a non symbolic example that can be found and encountered in a symbolic site as that of the poem? As that of Beauty and Love? But what if the possibility of asking these questions comes from an impossibility of distinguishing the genius-example from the generation of example? The poem-example takes its condition of possibility from the symbolic zone that poet-example creates as an event of its poetical invention. Therefore, it appears that, in Beauty and Love, there is an impossible possibility of an invention as Galib-Event which gives the example of example qua the poet of the poem.

Although fused into what one attests in the poem as a metaphor of metaphor, the example of example seems to differentiate itself from the symbol of symbol. Galib tries to save the genuine character of Love and Beauty in the poem itself by separating itself from the imitation and stealth poem.[62] For It must be the poem of the originality:[63] “ A good tempered rind poet/ said the word in harmony with this tone/ do not grab the expression/ that is already told and swallowed/ For we have penchant to accent of coyness/ a new expression is accepted by us/” (818-820). And the poem becomes a demonstration of how an invention of poetry must be. It distinguishes itself also by means of contemptuous verses that try to reverse the position of so-called poets: “apt to word is the poet / nice tempered and moderate/ can be scoundrels and the eaters /of the devil’s remnants of delusion/ drink from the goblet of expression/ conversant about the language’s revelation” (802-804).  Galib ridicules also the poets who works as civil servants and the people that he deems as professional poets. But those who he criticizes harshly are especially the theologian (müderris) poets who educate the future civil servants, and the officers of the state, as well as the men of thought (ulema) that are “supposed to write poem with the examples of talhis (book on eloquence)” (763). Furthermore, he is not only against the poetical products of thinkers, but also to the thought as scientific knowledge in the poem: “Can you talk of knowledge inside the poem/ be fair and let me tell” (822).

The scientific knowledge cannot be inclusive to poem.[64] Scientific knowledge, as known as religious scientific knowledge (and as philosophical knowledge),[65] cannot be in the frames of the poem. For, the poem is first of all inventive in its being formative. And the citation of knowledge in the poem is not acceptable for Galib. Yet, if the poem is original in its form, and if it says something new in the form but not in the signification of the form, it will then be insignificant for Galib to criticize those who imitates and cites the story and the meaning of the stories of others (as he criticizes in Love and Beauty). Moreover, if, as we stated earlier, Galib proves the need for writing new poems by means of Quranic challenge of writing a poem as good as Qur’an, then the new poem cannot be new inasmuch as it can’t reach to the formal capacities of Qur’an. So, there is a parergonal indistinction between meaning and form, signification and content.[66]

The truth of poem mustn’t be the already told story, recitation.[67] But the poet, for Galib, must have a good aptitude for citation. He must cite some event that gives the possibility for the invention of good poem. The truth of poetry, on the other hand, cannot be told as a discovered meaning that is showed in the beautiful form of a poem. The truth of poem as a fact of imitation opens the possibility of cutting the relation with what it imitates. The relation without relation, the without of the pure cut ( that Derrida offers as a parergonal relation through the examples of beauty such as rose and tulip), cuts the braces of the poem, the word with the representation, by means a representation that broaches (entames) a gap in the form of the poem in order to present the unrepresantanble. Unrepresantable, that which is indicated in the poem, relate its truth to the example of its discovery, covered already with symbols. The frame of the truth invents the example as the event. Here we are running away from the example of example that tries to cut its relation with the symbolic. For, in Galib’s poem, there is also another example, a revered example, that is welcomed to the venue that poem opens (entame) with the symbol. Not an example of symbol, but an example in the example that is symbolized through the metaphoric différance of the poem. The event of this example is not the invention, but it presupposes, for its indication, through the poetry (dichtung), a metaphoric language, or in other words, the language itself.   The advent of the example in the poem is the example of event that Galib proposes in its poem, as the example of its poem. In order to ample the denotation of what is offered as a presentation of the unrepresantable, we will call it, exemple.


Whence advents the exemple? Can it easily be discerned as distinct from the example of example? For example, when Galib refers to Mowlana as the source of the poem? Can one count it as an exemple, as that which is imitated in order not to represent but present the unrepresentability of the Mowlana-Event? “From Mesnevi its secrets I have taken / I have stolen, yet property of the common stolen have I” (2079). Even though Mowlana is respected and hailed in the poem as the master “who prospered and transmitted his teachings to the poet in his earlier ages” (2083-2089), he is also a poet, a symbolic inventor of metaphors.  According to Holbrook, if there is an invention peculiar to the poet, it must be erupting from his imaginative production. “If poetical imagination is not produced by reason and maintains its being rather in an independent zone, it is brought to this world by means of poet’s quest or discovery through revelation”.[68] Therefore “the poetical language does not depict already existing images, but those which are not existing until they are manifested in the imagination”.[69] Then, are exemples the images not yet existing that the power of imagination produces? In that case, the invention would create the existence as example. Yet, Galib overtly announces that he is not the creator of those images: “O pen (kalem), do not hustle, do not behave agile, the secrets of prophecy can’t be understood” (283). “An impersonal force that pushes to writing”, as genius, serves as something projecting what exceeds the inventor. One feels terrible while inventing grandiose works. That can be seen in a passage of Agamben where he gives general aspects of genius with regard to one’s Ego:

“That is why the encounter with Genius is terrible. The life that maintains the tension between the personal and the impersonal, between Ego and Genius, is called poetic. But the feeling that occurs when Genius exceeds us every side is called panic – panic at something that comes over us and is infinitely greater than what we believe ourselves able to bear. For this reason, most people flee in terror before the part of themselves that is impersonal, or else they seek hypocritically to reduce it to their own miniscule stature. What is rejected as impersonal, then, can reappear in the form of symptoms and tics that are even more impersonal, or grimaces that are even more excessive. But more laughable and fatuous than this is someone who experiences the encounter with Genius as a privilege, the Poet who strikes a pose and puts on airs or, worse, feigns humility and gives thanks for the grace received. In the face of Genius, no one is great; we are all equally small.”[70]

A terrible feeling accompanies the inventor when he encounters with its genius. In the exemple of Galib, it becomes evident too. The exemple is encountered with enthusiasm (2066). For, apart from a metaphor that can be found through the story, which is named Enthusiasm (hayret), and which tries to separate Beauty and Love, enthusiasm in the end, appears as that to which word or poetry (sûhan) is entrusted. After the absence of Sûhan from the story, there comes the unity in which Beauty and Love are united. But the poet, after the end of story, continues to poetize, even after he announces the arrival of “silence” (2068). He then says that he cried with agony in vain like red flute (nay) (2093). What he says, with its meaning, “distanced” from the poet; and the poet remained “without love” (2096). In the end, he turns to God in order to beg him for success (tevfik).

Galib seems to be successful in writing a poem as an act of proving the capacity and the possibility for him to show an example of poem. Insofar as he is the example of an example, he accesses to the success of poetry with an accessory frame that he includes in its poetry in order to represent an example of poetry. Yet, there is also something which does not allege to exceed the exemple itself. To exceed the exemple would be to use it, usurp it as a metaphor of metaphor. It would be only a relation without a relation. The accessory relation of relation of the beauty, that Derrida uses and usurps, would unframe the frame itself:

“By having to be interrupted, the sans-text and the sans-theme relate to the end in the mode of nonrelation. Absolute nonrelation. And by having to be so, this absolute nonrelation must also, if possible, be inscribed in the structure of the artifact. The sans of the sans-theme and the sans-text must be marked, without being either present or absent, in the thing to which it does not belong and which is no longer quite a thing, which one can no longer name, which is not, once charged with the mark, a material support or a form of what is to be found neither here nor there, and which one might indicate, given a certain displacement, by the name of text or trace”.[71]

This, Derrida manifested clearly also when he treated the trace as nothing. For, the sketch of a broaching that any trace cuts (as Aufriss Heidegerrian – entame) nullifies the discourse by retracing the différance in the metaphor by retiring itself from the presence of any event.

“The trait is therefore nothing. The breaching and broaching incision of the Aufriss is neither passive nor active, neither one nor multiple, neither subject nor predicate; it does not separate any more than it unites. All the oppositions of value have their proper possibility in différance, in the between of its spacing divergence that brings into accord as much as it demarcates. How to speak of it? What writing must one invent here? Can one say of the lexicon and syntax encircling this possibility in French, in German, between the two [or, here again, "in" English] that they are metaphoric? Will they be formalized according to some other rhetorical schema? Whatever may be the pertinence, or even the rich fecundity of a rhetorical analysis determining the totality of what happens along such a path of thought or of language, in this making way of the pathbreaking, there will have been necessarily a line, divided moreover and from elsewhere, where the rhetorical determination will have encountered, in the trait, that is to say, in its withdrawal redrawn, its own possibility (differentiality, divergence and resemblance). This possibility cannot be strictly comprehended within its assembled set, in the set of all it makes possible; and yet the possibility will not dominate the whole. Rhetoric can then only state itself, and its possibility, by getting carried away in the supplementary trait of a rhetoric of rhetoric, and for example, of a metaphor of metaphor, and so on. When trait or retrait is said in a context where truth is at stake and under way, “trait” is no longer a metaphor for what we usually believe we recognize beneath this word. All the same, it does not suffice to invert the proposition and say that the re-tracing (re-trait) of truth as nontruth is the proper or the literal in relation to which common language will be in a position of divergence, of abuse, of tropical detour in any form. Retrait is no more proper or literal than figurative. Nor can it be confused with the words it makes possible in their delimitation or cutout form (including the French or German words crossed or grafted here) anymore than it is foreign to words as a thing or a referent. Withdrawal is neither thing, nor being, nor meaning. It withdraws itself both from the Being of being as such and from language, without being or being said to be elsewhere; it breaches and broaches the ontological difference itself.”[72]

When Derrida asked “what is happening with metaphor today”, the withdrawal of metaphor as the difference in a suspension (the withdrawal of ontological difference itself) appears, for us, in form of the suspension of law, as much as, as Derrida indicated, the withdrawal of truth and non-truth. The withdrawal as, then, a state in which the metaphor of metaphor serves as the state of exception (in the non truth), can be seen, this time, inversely, as a situation of exemple in which the exemple is posited and indicated through the metaphoric language of discovery and invention. Discovering the cover thus necessitates the cover itself as a metaphor that is always treated as a trace to remain with what it covers. The example to be invented, if it is to be invented and discovered, exists already as an exception to what stays there as a metaphor of trace. So, the presence of the trace presents what is not there but what already exists. It presents the unrepresentable. And it is here for us an opportunity to retrace the formula of the Sublime in the lines of Lacoue-Labarthe and Lyotard: “Sublime is the presentation of the unpresentable or, more rigorously, to take again the formula of Lyotard, the presentation of (the fact) that there is unpresentable”[73][our translation].

The formulation of the definition  – which, although loyal to Kantian and also Lyotardian  definition of Sublime, seems to miss the difference between unpresentable and unrepresentable – of the sublime, in the article of Lacoue-Labarthe “The Sublime Truth” uses, as its examples, two sublime formulas of Kant. Yet, formulation goes beyond any formal principle. One is an inscription over the temple – an example written on and over the stone : “Perhaps nothing more sublime has ever been said, or any thought more sublimely expressed, than in the inscription over the temple of Isis (Mother Nature): ‘I am all that is, that was, and that will be, and my veil no mortal has removed’ ”.[74] Another example, which seems to be either more sublime or less sublime then the first one, or vice versa, appears in the form of imperative: “Perhaps there is no more sublime passage in the Jewish Book of the Law than the commandment: Thou shalt not make unto thyself any graven image, nor any likeness either of that which is in heaven, or on the earth, or yet under the earth, etc. This commandment alone can explain the enthusiasm that the Jewish people felt in its civilized a period for its religion when it compared itself with other peoples, or the pride that Mohammedanism inspired”.[75] One is a statement, and the other is a commandment. Both are sublime. One is about dis-covering the cover, the other is about the imitating the non-imitable. One is about the presentation of the unpresentable, the other about the representation of the unrepresentable.  The first seems to be included in the second. Yet they are nonetheless different, not in that they are different in their tenses (conditional and imperative), but in that the representation is not always a re-presentation, in other words not a presenting of  that which is not present in a present that the presentation is made. This formula is already problematic, so much so that something pertaining to the structure of representation appears even though the representation as a concept is not used. So, one can claim that these two sublime formulas cannot be separated from each other, as if there is a mutual connection of a speech-act who commends by saying what there is. The connection of what one should with what one is thus would be undifferenciated within the examples of Sublime. Whenever one sees a statement, it will be a performance of a commandment, or inversely, every performance would commend the obedience to a statement. Then, the hyphen which associates the speech with act would be a sublime law that creates a zone of indistincition between the law and its execution. There would be a state of exception but not a situation of exemple. (But the inverse is not a clear distance between the “hyphen” and the “and” – then it would amount to what one expects from “or”).[76]

Thus, speech-act or Derrida-Event, as well as Galib-Event, are not to be thought as sublime events that are both representation and presentation, commandment and statement, invention and event, example and law. But they are both them without ever being at the same time. Here it is the différance.[77] The presentation of the unrepresentable (instead of the presentation of the unpresentable)  and the invention of the event, as the ever delayed execution and performance of withdrawal. They are treated (traité), in withdrawal (retrait), as in a state of exception in which their example is always the example of a law of invention, free from the law of freedom, adhering to what they imitate as example. Not only are they represented as the unrepresentable event of their example in themselves, but also with each other, through the example of this text. Therefore Galib-Event enters into a zone of indifferenciation with the Derrida-Event. Invention of Law in the Derrida-Event supposes, here, in this text, the advent of the example in form and in frames of Galib’s poem as example. Moreover, they indicated, through this text, something like the situation of exemple.

The presentation of the unrepresentable is indicated by Holbrook as a paradigm of the poem In Love and Beauty: “What is intended to be indicated here is that Galib’s foreword-like Miraj (ascension) section is at the same time an interpretive paradigm for his story. Muhammad’s Miraj begins when Gabriel delivers God’s invitation (65). For an angel of wahy (revelation) is always identified with speaking. Sûhan (Poetry, speaking, word), who carries the letter of Beauty to Love, and who inspires Love to search Beauty, plays a similar role in Galib’s story. Just as Gabriel brought Muhammad’s horse, God’s gift, Burak (68), Sûhan alike brings Love his horse, Beauty’s present Samand (1579). Sûhan guides Love through his journey just as Gabriel accompanied Muhammad in his journey. And Sûhan is supposed to stay back when Love departed in order to reunite with Beauty, just as Gabriel could not go beyond the tree of Sidra, which shows the limit of Muhammad’s converse with God”.[78]   But this paradigm, for us, is not a paradigm that is based under  the story of the event as Miraj and the story of Beauty and Love as narration, though a recitation in the story (récit) is also supposed. The paradigm, as example, or rather, the exemple, is about the situation and the position of the exemple itself. The position of the exemple is very close to that of what already constitutes the situation of exemple. If the situation of exemple is the presentation of the unrepresentable, the exemple in the situation (namely in the poem) is already positioned, in its advent and eventness, as a presentation of the unrepresentable. So much so that, Galib who addresses to his pen by saying “O pen (kalem), do not hustle, do not behave agile, the secrets of prophecy can’t be understood”, begins his poem by saying “Mâ arafnâk”, “we do not know you properly”. “Mâ arafnâk” is the word of Prophet Mohammad (hadith), who, as an event (hâditha), even though in the advent of himself through Miraj to the “closest distance of God”[79] cannot unveil the thin veil and cover of his Majesties’ beauty, is represented as the presentation of the unrepresentable. For, although God addresses man in a sacred hadith through prophet by saying “I was a secret treasure and wanted to be known”, and although all those sayings are presented in the form and frame of Galib’s poem, Muhammad the Prophet does not claim that he knows properly what is under the veil (hijab). He who is invited to the advent of the discovery of the veil, he who goes to attest the Beauty of God, does not see his representation. But he presences this unrepresentability. The experience of the impossible that prophet’s event positions in the hadith (act), is indicated through the language (which does not present the unrepresentable). Yet the hadith itself is also the presentation of the unrepresentable. If, thus, there is, not an impossible possibility, but a possible impossibility, it is in the position of the exemple that the event-saying (hadith as haditha) situates. This position which appears in the Galib-Event as the position of the exemple is therefore indicated through the sublime position of law which posits its example as the presentation of the unrepresentable. This position is only indicated – here, in the Galib-Event, in form and metaphor of poem. Yet it can also be felt. For The Sublime is, first of all, a feeling that has not a given object which we can define as Sublime.

This ex-static feeling (vajd) – or should one say enthusiastic – does not create the “existence as example”, nonetheless he invents it.[80] With this, one invents (ijad) the Sublime as an event (hadith) that he encounters (ijad). It encounters (ijad) its existence (mawjudiya) as an exemple (misal) to recite (mesel). Finding (ijad) the exemple to recite, one does not cite it as a representation to present, but as a presentation of the unrepresentable (temsiliyet). Temsiliyet (which is etymologically same with what is recited, namely masal, and misal, namely example), is the exemplification of the law which dictates “the presentation of the unrepresentable”. And to dictate in a poem, is only an indication which can’t be same with the law of its example.

A poem…

The ex-static indication of the exemple…

[[71]Jacques Derrida, The Truth In Painting, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1987, p.98.[[71]]


1. Example is just one of the concepts that Agamben puts in the site of the zone of indifferenciation, in which  the antinomies of philosophy are thought in their threshold.   Cf. Giorgio Agamben, Coming Community, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 1993, p.9-10: “One concept that escapes the antinomy of the universal and the particular has long been familiar to us: the example. In any context where it exerts its force, the example is characterized by the fact that it holds for all cases of the same type, and, at the same time, it is included among these. It is one singularity among others, which, however, stands for each of them and serves for all. On one hand, every example is treated in effect as a real particular case; but on the other, it remains understood that it cannot serve in its particularity. Neither particular nor universal, the example is a singular object that presents itself as such, that shows its singu­larity.” [↑]

2. Jacques Derrida, Force de Loi, Paris: Galilée, 1994, p.35. [↑]

3. Ibid, p.35. [↑]

4. Ibid, p.38. [↑]

5. Jacques Derrida, “ Psyche: Invention of the Other”, Psyche: Inventions of the Other, California: Stanford University Press,  p.15. [↑]

6.  “The invention, if it is possible, is not an invention” claims Derrida in conjunction with what he confirms elsewhere as the invention of the impossible as an experience of the impossible. Cf. Jacques Derrida, “Une Certaine Possibilité Impossible de dire L’Evénement”, Dire L’événement, Est-Ce Possible? Séminaire De Montréal, Pour Jacques Derrida, Paris: Harmattan, 2001, p. 95. [↑]

7. Cf. Jacques Derrida, “ Psyche: Invention of the Other”, Psyche: Inventions of the Other, California: Stanford University Press,  p.39. [↑]

8. Ibid, p.39. [↑]

9. Jacques Derrida, “Une Certaine Possibilité Impossible de dire L’Evénement”, Dire L’événement, Est-Ce Possible ? Séminaire De Montréal, Pour Jacques Derrida, Paris: Harmattan, 2001, p. 94. And it also consists of giving the impossible. “But when someone does the impossible, if someone does the impossible, no one, first of all the actor of this action, can be in the position of settling, sure of itself,  a theoretical saying about this event[…]A phrase such as “forgive me” or “I forgave” is absurd, and first of all it is obscene[…]Thus, giving or forgiving, if there is one, must be announced as impossible and must challenge all theoretical and cognitive  saying”. [our translation]. pp.94-5. [↑]

10. Ibid, p. 96. [↑]

11. “Although the performative says and produces the event that it speaks of, it  also neutralizes that insofar as it keeps its mastery over it in an “I can, I may”, “I am skilled”, etc…A pure event which is worthy of this name, reroutes the performative as much as the constative. One must find one day the consequences of it”. Cf. Jacques Derrida, “Une Certaine Possibilité Impossible de dire L’Evénement”, Dire L’événement, Est-Ce Possible ? Séminaire De Montréal, Pour Jacques Derrida, Paris: Harmattan, 2001, p.109. By “reversing” the meaning of speech-act, Derrida points to a possibility of the impossible in the forms of speech-act, and overall, in the language itself. Assertive and performative can be found in a threshold of indifferenciation in which what is intended in the assertion finds its possibility of its position in the act of saying, through the opposed position of the performance that can’t keep a promise or that perjures when swearing.  “A promise must be menaced by the possibility of treason, of being betrayed by itself, consciously or unconsciously” (p.108). Or even “the perjure must be in the heart of faith sworn for it to be really possible […]Thus the impossible must be in the heart of possible” (p.110). Derrida says “One must find one day the consequences of it”.  One of that who takes the consequences of this eventness of speech-act theory is Agamben. Agamben devoted his “Sacrament of Language: Archeology of Oath” and “The Power and The Glory” to what Derrida tried to find in the différance that performatives and assertives creates. There, Although in an inverse manner, possibility and impossibility, as much as power and its exercise,  are found in the zone of indifferenciation that the western politico-theological states create in form of its symbolic act of convention and contract as speech-acts. “The performative is also, in itself, immediately a real fact inasmuch as its sense coincides with a reality that it produces itself […] The performative constructs itself always by means of a suspension of a denotative character of language. The performative verb constructs itself in fact necessarily with a dictum which, considered in itself, has a purely constative nature, and without which it will remain empty and ineffective (“I swear” has a value only if it is followed or preceded by a dictum –for example “…that yesterday I was ın Rome”). It is this normal denotative character of dictum that is suspended and in a manner transformed at the moment it becomes object of a performative syntagm[…] It is not by chance, nevertheless, if the sphere of law and that of performative are since always closely linked and if the acts of sovereign are those in which gesture and words are immediately effective.” [Our translation] Cf. in Giorgio Agamben, Le Règne et la Gloire: Pour une Généalogie théologique de l’économie et du Gouvernement, Homo Sacer, II, 2, Paris: Seuil, 2007, p.276-7. [↑]

12. Jacques Derrida, “Une Certaine Possibilité Impossible de dire L’Evénement”, Dire L’événement, Est-Ce Possible? Séminaire De Montréal, Pour Jacques Derrida, Paris: Harmattan, 2001, p. 106. [↑]

13. Giorgio Agamben, State of Exception, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005, p.40. [↑]

14.  The board matters for Derrida; so much so that the intrigue for the bordello is, for Derrida, on the Board of any philosophical quest that ventures the codes of matter and form. Matter (the matter of board on ancient Greek as hylē) is on a threshold where the form and the matter are undistinguished from each other.  “Boats are never far away when one is handling figures of rhetoric. Brothel [borde1] has the same etymology; it’s an easy one, at first a little hut made of wood. The board is made of wood, and apparently indifferent like the frame of a painting. Along with stone, better than stone, wood names matter (hylē means wood). These questions of wood, of matter, of the frame, of the limit between inside and outside, must, somewhere in the margins, be constituted together”. Cf. Jacques Derrida, The Truth In Painting, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1987, p. 54-5. [↑]

15. Introduction to the “On the Origin of Geometry” of Husserl”, and especially “Of Grammatology” are early examples of Derrida’s venture on the problem of example. The usage of example in the history of western philosophy, though a capital problem for Derrida, never appears in a conceptual framework save the examples of examples. Yet the problem of example is an austere and inadmissible problem: “This is the moment, as it were, of the example, although strictly speaking, that notion is not acceptable within my argument”. Cf. Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1974, lxxxix. A detailed overview on the role of the example in the work of Derrida can be found in Cf. Dana Hollander, Exemplarity and Choosenness: Rosensweig and Derrida on the Nation of Philosophy, California: Stanford University Press, 2008. [↑]

16.  Jacques Derrida, The Truth In Painting, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1987, p.73. [↑]

17. Ibid, p.78. [↑]

18. Ibid, p.127. [↑]

19. Ibid, p.127-8. [↑]

20. Ibid. p.59. [↑]

21. Ibid, p.60. [↑]

22. Immanuel Kant, Critique of the Power of Judgment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. p.117. [↑]

23. Ibid,  p.116. [↑]

24.  Jacques Derrida, The Truth in Painting, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1987, pp.109-10. [↑]

25. Cf. Immanuel Kant, Critique of the Power of Judgment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. p.116. [↑]

26.  In different places Derrida underlines this difference by referring to appropriate passages in the texts of Kant. See for example Truth in Painting p.96 and Of Grammatology p.344. [↑]

27. Immanuel Kant, “The Metaphysics of Morals”, Anthropology, History and Education, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999, §52, p.593. [↑]

28. “Das gute Exempel (der exemplarische Wendel) soll nicht als Muster, sonder nur zum Beweise der Thunlichkeit des Pflichtmässigen dienen”. See also Cf. Immanuel Kant, “The Metaphysics Of Morals”, Anthropology, History and Education, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999, §52, p.593. [↑]

29. Immanuel Kant, “Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View”, Anthropology, History and Education, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007, pp.328-329. [↑]

30. Immanuel Kant, “Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View”, Anthropology, History and Education, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007, p.329. [↑]

31. Immanuel Kant, Critique of Practical Reason, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. p.196. [↑]

32. Immanuel Kant, Critique of Practical Reason, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. pp.208-9. And Why does duty become the name, and even the nomos of that which is Sublime?  – but only with the awareness that it is not “moving the will” by terror or aversion,  yet by respect and reverence. Still, here the reverence is reluctant – Why?  “Duty! Sublime and mighty name that embraces nothing charming or insinuating but requires submission, and yet does not seek  to move the will by threatening anything that would arouse natural aversion or terror in the mind  but only holds forth a law that of itself finds entry into the mind and yet gains reluctant reverence (though not always obedience), a law before which all inclinations are dumb, even though they secretly work against it; what origin is there worthy of you, and where is to be found the root of your noble descent which proudly rejects all kinship with the inclinations, descent from which is the indispensable condition of that  worth which human beings alone can give themselves? (p.209). [our emphasis] [↑]

33. We follow here Agamben in regard to its insistence upon the state of exception that structures the Law (and thus constitution):  “Far from being a response to a normative lacuna, the state of exception appears as the opening of a fictitious lacuna in the order for the purpose of safeguarding the existence of the norm and its applicability to the normal situation. The lacuna is not within the law [la legge], but concerns its relation to reality, the very possibility of its application. It is as if the juridical order [il diritto] contained an essential fracture between the position of the norm and its application, which, in extreme situations, can be filled only by means of the state of exception, that is, by creating a zone in which application is suspended, but the law [la legge], as such, remains in force”. Cf. Giorgio Agamben, State of Exception, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005, p.31. [↑]

34. Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer, Sovereign Power and Bare Life, California: Stanford University Press, 1998, p.12. [↑]

35.  Jacques Derrida, “White Mythology: Metaphor in the Text of Philosophy”, Margins of Philosophy, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 198, p.270. [↑]

36. Ibid,, p.271. [↑]

37. Cf. Victoria Holbrook, Aşkın Okunmaz Kıyıları, İstanbul: İletişim, 1998, p.15. [↑]

38. Ibid, pp.44-5. [↑]

39. Ibid, p.48. [↑]

40. Cf. Victoria, Holbrook, “Alegorinin Ölümü: Hüsn-ü Aşk’ın Özgünlüğü”, in Defter, 27, İstanbul: Metis, 1996, p.1. [↑]

41. Cf. Victoria Holbrook, Aşkın Okunmaz Kıyıları, İstanbul : İletişim, 1998, p.194 -201 and p.122. [↑]

42. Immanuel Kant, Critique of the Power of Judgment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. p.114. [↑]

43. As for Galib, we have some heresays claiming that he tried to welcome both Bekthashis (shiites) and mewlevis  (Hanefi sunnites) to his dergâh (convent).  Cf. Victoria Holbrook, Aşkın Okunmaz Kıyıları, İstanbul : İletişim, 1998, pp.194 -201. [↑]

44. Cf. Victoria Holbrook, Aşkın Okunmaz Kıyıları, İstanbul : İletişim, 1998, pp. 196-7. [↑]

45. Galib, in his Divan, uses praiseworthy words for Selim III. Expressions such as “A garden invented new worth world” or “Godly inspiration enlightened his comprehensive language / Caused him to structure  new orders [poetical words] about the order of world” are clear examples of this praise. Cf. Victoria Holbrook, Aşkın Okunmaz Kıyıları, İstanbul : İletişim, 1998, pp.195 -197. [↑]

46. Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer, Sovereign Power and Bare Life, California: Stanford University Press, 1998,  p.20. [↑]

47. This metaphor of metaphor, or, as Derrida would call it, quasi metaphor, appertains to the trace of re-trait, that is always in withdrawal: “Being being nothing, not being a being, it [metaphor] cannot be expressed or named more metaphorico. And therefore it does not have, in the context of the dominant metaphysical usage of the word “metaphor,” a proper or literal meaning that could be intended metaphorically by metaphysics. Consequently, we can no more speak metaphorically on its subject, than we can properly or literally. We will always speak of it only quasi-metaphorically, according to a metaphor of metaphor, with the overload of a supplementary trait, a re-trait”. Cf. Cf. Jacques Derrida, “The Retrait of Metaphor”, Psyche: Inventions of the Other, California: Stanford University Press, pp.65-6. [↑]

48. And what about thief birds? Italo Svevo’s “Una Burla Riuscita” is made of fables trying to make fables. Fables, as that of thief birds, are told through the fable. [I owe a special thank to my friend Hakan Altıntaş for sharing his views on this topic]. [↑]

49. Giorgio Agamben, “Genius”, Profanations, New York: Zone Books, 2007, p.13. [↑]

50. “From Mesnevi its secrets I have taken / I have stolen, yet property of the common  stolen / Have I.” (2079) [↑]

51. Victoria Holbrook evaluates these parts still as digression, although in a positive tone : “Galib expounded a poetics of originality in a “Digression” taken mid-way through Beauty and Love. There he dropped his narrative persona of the tale, and its tone, quality, and imagery, to take up the expository persona of orator. The prefatory, digressive, and epilogue chapters of Islamicate romances have often been omitted in translation and summary on the view that such parts are not of interest to readers who could only be expected to appreciate the tale. But in fact these other parts of the romance, excluded by a modern perspective also judging them as parts of fictional, therefore not objective critical discourse, are one site where theory of Ottoman literary practice took place”. Cf. Victoria Holbrook, “Originality and Ottoman Poetics: In the Wilderness of the New”, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 112, No. 3 (Jul. – Sep., 1992), p. 445. [↑]

52. Jacques Derrida, “Psyche: Invention of the Other”, Psyche: Inventions of the Other, California: Stanford University Press, p.8. [↑]

53. “If ‘Fable’ is both performative and constative from its very first line, this effect is propagated across the totality of the poem thus generated. As we shall have to verify, the concept of invention distributes its two essential values between these two poles: the constative—discovering or unveiling, pointing out or saying what is—and the performative—producing, instituting, transforming. But the sticking point here has to do with the figure of co-implication, with the configuration of these two values. In this regard, ‘Fable’ is exemplary from its very first line. It invents by means of the sole act of enunciation that performs and describes, operates and states. Here the conjunction ‘and’ does not link two different activities. The constative statement is the performative itself, since it points out nothing that is prior or foreign to itself. Its performance consists in the ‘constatation’ of the constative—and nothing else”. Cf. Jacques Derrida, “Psyche: Invention of the Other”, Psyche: Inventions of the Other, California: Stanford University Press, p.12. [↑]

54. Victoria Holbrook insists on this thesis overtly “The world itself becomes a kind of living allegory, as for the genre of allegory, it became an allegory of allegory. When the allegory becomes the allegory of allegory, it abandoned being allegory. The other is not being told anymore; meanings told with a saying are reduced to one” [our translation]. Cf. Victoria, Holbrook, “Alegorinin Ölümü: Hüsn-ü Aşk’ın Özgünlüğü”, in Defter, 27, İstanbul: Metis, 1996, p.80. Furthermore, she confirms her views elsewhere by positing that “Then the world itself becomes allegory, for it seems other than what it is”. Cf. Victoria Holbrook, Aşkın Okunmaz Kıyıları, İstanbul : İletişim, 1998, p.250.  It seems that although the “other” is not told, it is now the world as “other”. So we cannot go as far as  to claim, as does Holbrook, that the allegory is dead. [↑]

55. Jacques Derrida, “White Mythology: Metaphor in the Text of Philosophy” , Margins of Philosophy, Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1982 , p.271. [↑]

56. Jacques Derrida, “ Plato’s Pharmacy”, Dissemination, London : Continuum, 2004, p.144.  Derrida transfers, in p.102, Plato’s version of writing thus: “Contrary to life, writing—or, if you will, the pharmakon—can only displace or even aggravate the ill. Such will be, in its logical outlines, the objection the king raises to writing: under pretext of supplementing memory, writing makes one even more forgetful; far from increasing knowledge, it diminishes it. Writing does not answer the needs of memory, it aims to the side, does not reinforce the mnēmē, but only hypomnēsis”. [↑]

57. And the convention does not exclude the necessity of repetition as assurance of an inscription that creates the uniqueness of an inaugural event: “So, then, the singular structure of an event, for the speech act I am speaking of must be an event. It will be so, on the one hand, insofar as it is singular, and, on the other hand, inasmuch as its very singularity will produce the coming or the coming about of something new. It should make come about or allow the coming of what is new in a “first time ever.” The full weight of the enigma is borne in every word used here—”new,” “event,” “coming,” “singularity,” “first time” (here the English phrase “first time” marks the temporal aspect that the French premiere fois elides). Never does an invention appear, never does an invention take place, without an inaugural event. Nor is there any invention without an advent, if we take this latter word to mean the inauguration for the future of a possibility or of a power that will remain at the disposal of everyone. Advent there must be, because the event of an invention, its act of inaugural production, once recognized, legitimized, countersigned by a social consensus according to a system of conventions, must be valid for the future [l'avenir]. It will only receive its status of invention, furthermore, to the extent that this socialization of the invented thing is protected by a system of conventions that will at the same time ensure its inscription in a common history, its belonging to a culture: to a heritage, a patrimony, a pedagogical tradition, a discipline, a chain of generations. Invention begins by being susceptible to repetition, exploitation, reinscription”. Cf. Jacques Derrida, “Psyche: Invention of the Other”, Psyche: Inventions of the Other, California: Stanford University Press, pp.5-6. [↑]

58. Derrida shows the ambiguous importance of stone in Hegel’s work by enfolding what the stone sublimates and desublimates: “Attaching importance [Faire cas], once more, to the stone. In the present relief of the Last Supper, sublimation (idealization- interiorization-animation-subjectivation, and so on) even works on the stone.

Twice, the stone, love frozen in stone. But this time the stone, the stone of love opposed to Christian sublimation, the stone that does not let itself be relieved, is the Greek and not the Jewish stone. Here the movement is necessarily complicated by the fact that the stone always falls (entombs) again. Remain(s). The Last Supper scene certainly accomplishes a consuming destruction of love that Greek plastic art cannot attain: a split again, in the Greek, between stony matter and the interiority of love. But the Christian consuming destruction will also divide itself. A new split will dupe by itself this Christian destruction in order to appeal to another relief, Aufhebung first in the heart [sein] of Christianity, then Aufhebung of Christianity, of the absolute revealed religion in(to) philosophy that will have been its truth”. Cf. Jacques Derrida, Glas, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1986, p.70. [↑]

59. Cf. Jacques Derrida, “Psyche: Invention of the Other”, Psyche: Inventions of the Other, California: Stanford University Press, p.28. “In any case, discovery or production, but not creation. To invent is to reach the point of finding, discovering, unveiling, producing for the first time a thing, which can he an artifact but which in any case could already be there existing in a virtual or invisible state. The first time of invention never creates an existence, and underlying the present-day desire to reinvent invention there is doubtless a certain reserve with respect to a creationist theology”. [our emphasis] [↑]

60. Cf. Jacques Derrida, “Psyche: Invention of the Other”, Psyche: Inventions of the Other, California: Stanford University Press, p.24. [↑]

61. Ibid, p.12. [↑]

62. “A barefoot burglar he wants to identify with Mansur / Versing Miraj of vision for him, to be the same with the Messiah / The base of the Hayr-âbâd’s structure / Consists of telling the maturity of a thief / A real plagiarism is it / Many a share for the burglar in it”. (205-207) [↑]

63. The originality of Orhan Pamuk’s “The Black Book”, which exemplifies and uses – even usurps overtly –  in a manner the story of Hüsn-ü Aşk,   is that his characters are living in a problematical surface of modernity and generation (in both senses). The generic of modernity will be an effect of the genius of west rather than east insofar as the West, being the general source of truth, is imposed on a generation of republic. An example comes from an event that seems to affect both the East and the West, at least in words (thought or poetry – it is also another problem of generation). This example is told with the words of a columnist – again the problem of column, and the colossal:  “Ibn Arabi, with over two hundred Sufi-like books, was in Morocco  a year before his attendance of Averroes’ funeral, and was writing a book with the inspiration of the above mentioned (editor!, do write “above” instead of “below” if we are over the column) story, that is told in the surat of Al-Isra, of Muhammad’s ascension one night to the heavens with a ladder (in Arabic Miraj) after being taken to Jerusalem, watching well (in his dream)  paradise and hell. Now, after looking to what Ibn Arabi told about how he wandered on the seventh heaven in the accompany of his guide, what he saw there and what he conversed about with the prophets that he saw there; or, after looking that he wrote this book in his thirty five (1198), to judge that the girl Called Nizam, who is the product of these visions, is true and that Beatrice is false; that Ibn Arabi is true, Dante is false; or that the Book of Isra and  the position of Isra is true, “Divina Comedia is false”, is an example of stupidity that I have just mentioned”[our translation]. Cf. Orhan Pamuk, Kara Kitap, İstanbul: İletişim , 2002, p.153. It is also interesting for us to Note that Black Book’s main character is named Galib. And the story is a modern tale of Beauty and Love, one might say. [↑]

64. “Maybe Galib was attacking to the “poetry of wisdom [hikam] that Nabi was an example of” [our translation]. Cf. Victoria Holbrook, Aşkın Okunmaz Kıyıları, İstanbul : İletişim, 1998, p.144. [↑]

65. Aristotle is one of these philosophers who are mentioned in Galib’s Poem: “Even the devil is a blind beggar for his bestowal / And his buffoon Aristotle” (389). [↑]

66. Another indistinction between these dualities manifests when Galib puts its poem in the chain of what represents the tradition of mesnevis such as Layla and Majnun of Fuzuli and The Conference of Birds of Attar. For meanwhile he criticizes Nedim for copying the “well-known” story of Attar. (186-188) [↑]

67. “It is likely that ere the poets / Said what is said before them”. (740) [↑]

68. Our translation. Cf. Victoria Holbrook, Aşkın Okunmaz Kıyıları, İstanbul : İletişim, 1998, p.169. [↑]

69. Ibid, p.170. [↑]

70. Giorgio Agamben, “Genius”, Profanations, New York: Zone Books, 2007, p.14. [↑]

72. Cf. Jacques Derrida, “The Retrait of Metaphor”, Psyche: Inventions of the Other, California: Stanford University Press, p.79-80. [↑]

73. Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, “La Vérité Sublime”, in du Sublime, Paris : Belin, 1988,  p.101. [↑]

74. Immanuel Kant, Critique of the Power of Judgment, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. p.194. [↑]

75. Ibid, p.156. [↑]

76. Concerning invention, Derrida uses both “or” and what transforms this “or” into a kind of hyphen, for the sake of deconstruction. He declares, for example, that “The deconstruction is inventive or it is not”. Yet, as we have already stated, for Derrida the invention of the other as the only possible invention holds the invention always in a withdrawal vis-à-vis deconstruction. And (it) is an hypen, or it is not. [↑]

77. Cf. Jacques Derrida, Psyche, p.46. “Performativity is necessary but not sufficient. In the strict sense, a performative still presupposes too much conventional institution to break the mirror. The deconstruction I am invoking only invents or affirms, lets the other come insofar as, in the performative, it is not only performative but also continues to unsettle the conditions of the performative and of whatever distinguishes it comfortably from the constative. This writing is liable to the other, opened to and by the other, to the work of the other”. [↑]

78. [Our translation]. Cf. Victoria Holbrook, Aşkın Okunmaz Kıyıları, İstanbul : İletişim, 1998, p.259. [↑]

79. “The gate of his canopy is closest as two arches to him / The knowledge of two worlds are furnished under him”(24). The expression of “Two arches” makes here a special reference to Qur’an’s 53. Surat 9. Ayat: “Fe kâne kâbe kavseyni ev ednâ ». kâbe kavseyni appears in the original version of the poem for “closest as two arches”. [↑]

80. This existence as example, if it is a position of example, is also the position of Being that Kant uses for the definition of the existence. The position of Being as existence is nothing other than the position of Law as example. And the sublime is its venue and advent. [↑]

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