18
Nov
08

Derrida’s Archive Fever

Jacques Derrida
Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression
Area: History of Rhetoric and Memory Studies
Note

•    Arkhe: 2 names at once—commencement and the commandment
o    There where things commence
o    There where authority is exercised
•    Order is not longer assured
2: “It is thus, in this domiciliation, in this house arrest, that archives take place.  The dwelling, this place where they dwell permanently, marks this institutional passage from the private to the public, which does not always mean from the secret to the nonsecret.”
5: “Sigmund Freud, the proper name, on the one hand, and, on the other, the invention of psychoanalysis: project of knowledge, of practice and of institution, community, family, domiciliation, consignation, ‘house’ or ‘museum,’ in the present state of its archivization.  What is in question is situated precisely between the two.”
Exergue
•    An eco-nomic archive in this double sense: it keeps, it puts in reverse, it saves, but in an unnatural fashion
•    Where does the archive commence? This is the question of the archive
•    The death drive works to destroy the archive: on the condition of effacing but also with a view to effacing its own ‘proper’ traces
o    Devours before producing on the outside
•    *See Baudrillard’s Vital Illusion: the museumification of everything before it can even exist
•    There is no archive without a certain exteriority; without an outside
o    Assures the possibility of memorization, repetition, reproduction
•    This compulsion is indissociable from the death drive
•    The archive always works against itself
•    The archival model is to represent on the outside memory as internal archivization
•    The machine, and consequently, representation, is death and finitude within the psyche
o    The machine has begun to resemble memory
•    The future consists of a transformation of archivization techniques
•    The archivization produces as it much as it records the event
o    Psychoanalysis wouldn’t be what it was with e-mail
•    What is no longer archived in the same way is no longer lived in the same way
7: “In this way, the exergue has at once an institutive and a conservative function: the violence of a power which at once posits and conserves the law, as the Benjamin of Zur Kritk der Gewalt would say. What is at issue here, starting with the exergue, is the violence of the archive itself, as archive, as archival violence.”
11: “But, the point must be stressed, this archiviolithic force leaves nothing of its own behind.  AS the death drive is also, according to the most striking worlds of Freud himself, an aggression and a destruction drive, it not only incites forgetfulness, amnesia, the annihilation of memory, as mneme or anamnesis, but also commands the radical effacement, in truth and eradication, of that which can never be reduced to mneme or to anamnesis, that is, the archive, consignation, the documentary or monumental apparatus as hypomnema, mnemotechnical supplement or representative, auxiliary or memorandum.  Because the archive, if this word or this figure can be stabilized so as to take on a signification, will never be either memory or anamnesis or spontaneous, alive and internal experience.  On the contrary: the archive takes place at the place of originary and structural breakdown of the said memory.”
16: “One can dream or speculate about the geo-techno-logical shocks which would have made the landscape of the psychoanalytic archive unrecognizable for the past century if, to limit myself to these indications, Freud, his contemporaries, collaborators and immediate disciples, instead of writing thousands of letters by had, had had access to MCI or AT&T telephonic credit cards, portable tape recorders, computers, printers, faxes, televisions, teleconferences, and above all E-mail.”
Preamble
•    Does it change anything that Freud didn’t know about the computer?
•    We don’t have a theory of the archive, only an impression of it
25: “I asked myself what is the moment proper to the archive, if there is such a thing, the instant of archivization strictly speaking, which is not, and I will come back to this, so-called live or spontaneous memory, but rather a certain hypomnesic and prosthetic experience of the technical substrate.”

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