Archeology,  p. 28

 

We  must  ask  ourselves                                                  what  purpose  is

ultimately  served  by  this                                                              suspension  of

all  the  accepted                                                                                  unities

if,  in  the  end,  we  return  to                                                           the  unities

that  we  pretended  to  question                                  at  the  outset.

In  fact,

 

the  systemic  erasure  of                                                 all  given  unities

enables  us  first  of  all                                                                        to  restore  to

the  statement                                                                                     the  specificity

of  its  occurrence,                                                             and  to  show

that                                                                                           discontinuity

is  one  of  those  great                                                       accidents

that                                                                                           create  cracks

 

not  only  in  the  geology                                                of  history,

but  also  in  the  simple                                                                      fact

of  the  statement;

 

it  emerges  in  its  historical           irruption;

what  we  try  to  examine  is          the  incision

 

that  it

makes,  that

irreducible—                                                       and  very  often  tiny

—emergence.

However  banal  it  may  be,

however  unimportant  its  consequences  may  appear  to  be,

however  quickly  it  may  be  forgotten  after  its  appearance,

however  little  heard  or  however  badly  deciphered

we  may  suppose  it  to  be,

 

a  statement  is  always  an  event

 

that  neither  the  language  (langue)  nor  the  meaning

can  quite  exhaust.

It  is  certainly  a  strange  event:

first,  because  on  the  one  hand

it  is  linked  to  the  gesture  of

writing  or  to  the  articulation  of

 

speech,

 

and  also  on  the  other  hand

it  opens  up  to  itself  a  residual                                                                     existence

in  the  field  of  a  memory,  or  in  the  materiality  of                          manuscripts,

books,  or  any  other  form  of  recording;

secondly,  because,  like  every

event,

it  is  unique,  yet  subject  to  repetition,  transformation,  and  reactivation;

thirdly,  because  it  is  linked  not  only  to  the  situations  that  provoke  it,  and  to  the  consequences

that  it  gives  rise  to,  but  at  the  same  time,  and  in  accordance  with  a  quite  different  modality,  to

the  statements  that  precede  and

follow  it.