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© Denise Startin

The Secret Language without a Secret

“It is not a noise, although at its approach everything becomes noise around us (and we must remember that we do not know today what such a noise might be.) Rather it is language: it speaks, it doesn’t stop speaking, it is like the void that speaks, a light murmuring, insistent, indifferent, that is probably the same for everyone, that is without secret and yet isolates each person, separates him from others, from the world and from himself, leading him through mocking labyrinths, drawing him always farther away, by a fascinating repulsion, below the ordinary world of daily speech.

The strangeness of this language is that it seems to say something, while it might be saying nothing. Further, it seems profundity speaks in it, and the unprecedented makes itself heard. To each person although it is surprisingly cold, without intimacy and felicity, it seems to say what would be closest to him if only he could fix it in place for an instant. It is not deceptive for it promises and says nothing, always speaking for one person alone, but impersonal, speaking entirely inwardly, but it is the outside itself, present in the single place where, by hearing it, we could hear everything, but it is nowhere, everywhere; and silent, that has become this false speech that we do not hear, this secret speech without a secret.”

Text quoted from Maurice Blanchot, The Book to Come, Stanford University Press 2003: pp.218/219