Speaking , Writing and Death

Our speech works against the pressure of time. The present limits our speech. As we pass into the next moment, our words pass into the past. There is a negation attached to our speaking. It can never be fully present. It always passes away as soon as we speak. There is negation of speaking at the very heart of speaking. Though our speaking bursts into the present, it is lost into the past. We can, therefore, speak by somehow castrating or aborting what we speak. In some way our words perish in our mouth as we utter them. All words carry death sentence. Our speaking, therefore, remind us that we are mortal.

Perhaps, this is why writing that gives some kind of persistence to our speaking is revered. Writing , thus, carries our desire to live long. Writing can outlast us. We can live in our writings. Writing also refuses itself to limit itself to a single presence as it can migrate into different readings of different readers. Writing belongs to different temporalities and stays beyond the pressures of a single temporality. Writing, therefore, enters, the time of waiting. Writing, thus, wages its own war on the negation that is attached to our speech. Although, writing can outlast us, it cannot overcome death. It still will pass away when the medium that carries it passes away.

Digitization of writing has given it somewhat a long life. But still, it is not an everlasting life. It depends on several contigent factors. Both speaking and writing demonstrate the power of the negative. It displays the power of death. This means when the words of our speech or writings pass into the past, they become other them themselves and depend on the interpretation of their receivers (listeners and readers). Thus, being other, other readings and interpretations are possible. Although, death seems to be the final destination of all speaking and writing, we can notice that both speaking and writing manifest a struggle against negation and death. In this struggle speech and writing enters the past waiting for its eruption as interpretations in the future.

Language reminds us about the dispossession of our life. Like words life passes to the next moment carrying its own fact of death. When we speak or write the words pass into silence into the past. They stay there in the absence of the speaker or writer. It thus reminds us with death we leave behind everything and become absent. Indeed, we leave behind all things of this world. We live behind everything including our death. While we speak and write we connect ourselves to death.

The words whether spoken and written stay in a mode of being there. Martin Heidegger used the term Dasein or being there to refer to humans as beings–in-the-world. our speaking and writing are intimately intertwined with our death. Speaking and writing are linked to the double structure of presence and absence. Therefore, we might ask: are we writing and speaking death when we are speaking and writing? Thus, writing and speaking is a death without dying. Force of death remains creative and masterful in our speaking and writing. Death subsists in our speaking and writing. Maybe we do carry our death in our mouth.

Death is excessive and hence is present everywhere. It is a nothing that exceeds everything. Death is the real outside of our writing and speaking. from the moment of birth it attempts to enter us. it enters everything that we are and become. Our writing and speaking reminds us about death living in our life. It is only when we die , when we leave death behind us we truly pass death and come to experience life. At the instant of death, we leave behind our family , friends, spoken and written words as well as out own death. Even in dying death is still the outside of  life.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao