I do want to do something.

on not being able to write (to do or not to do?)
July 28, 2008, 2:25 pm
Filed under: Beirut notes, questions

” Well, then. It is not so much a question of scientific knowledge. Nor certainly can it be a question of confidence in writing. There are certain things that force your hand. You find yourself incontrovertibly obligated: something occurs prior to owning, and more fundamental still than that of which any trace of empirical guilt can give an account. This relation-to whom? to what? – is no more and no less than your liability-what you owe before you think, understand, or give; that is, what you owe from the very fact that you exist, before you can properly owe. You do not have to do (emphasis of the text) anything about your liability, and most finitudes don’t. Still, it copilots your every move, planning your every flight, and it remains the place shadowed by the infinite singularity of your finitude. The obligation that can force your hand ressembles something of a historical compulsion: you are compelled to respond to a situation which has never as such been addressed to you, where you can do no more that run into an identificatory impasse. Nonetheless, you find yourself rising to the demand, as if the weight if justice depended upon your inconsequential advance. ”

Avital Ronell, Crack Wars, p.57-58