April 20, 2003

Writing Each Other Out of Existence

We don't know, either universally or individually, exactly what our relationship to the dead is. Individually, it constitutes part of our work, our work of love, not of hate or destruction; we must think through each relationship. We can think of this with the help of writing, if we know how to write, if we dare to write. Also with the help of dreams: they give us the marvelous gift of constantly bringing back our dead alive, with the result that at night we can talk with our dead. Each of us, individually and freely, must do the work that consists of rethinking what is your death and my death, which are inseparable. Writing originates from this relationship. In what is often inadmissable, contrary, terribly dangerous, and risks turning into complacency--which is the worst of all crimes: It originates here.

--Helene Cixous, Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing

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