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Reply to Christian Fierens

The Letter, Issue 39, Autumn 2008, Pages 123 - 128


Guy Le Gaufey

Translated by Cormac Gallagher

Paris, Sunday 17 August 2008

Dear Christian Fierens,

So then I have read your text ‘The act of saying notall’ and I thank you sincerely for it. For if this book (contrary to the preceding ones) has met with some serious readers, I have not had the privilege up to now of a work as consistent as yours. True, your Lecture de l’étourdit opened up for you the path to this critique that you make.

I recognize right away that it is quite justified. Naturally, when I wrote this book I re-read and re-re-read l’étourdit, but in the end I took the decision, after writing some pages, to leave this text to one side because I told myself that what I would have been able to bring forward from it would not fulfil the purpose in terms of quality/price relationship. I will explain myself. I wanted above all to produce a reading of the formulae, which presupposed something other than a continuation (suivi) of the Lacanian text. It was necessary to bring in largely external data (like Brunschwig or Blanché, or the Kantian nihil negativum, etc). From the start therefore I had problems of coherence and dimension. I also left to one side, for example, some important developments about the exception that I had made at a first public presentation of what was going to become this book (because I think the examples furnished by Lacan are misleading). At that time I spent a long time on Carl Schmitt and Walter Benjamin, pursuing a brilliant intuition of Agamben in L’état d’exception, which quite rightly opposed them on the very point of the nature and the localization of the exception in juridical systems. I did not keep any of all that because I told myself that I could only render coherent what interested me in these authors by devoting at least sixty pages to them and in that case my beloved formulae would disappear, or at the very least be put in the shade, while the book would take on the appearance of a summa. I wanted to be brief.

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