Monolingualism of the Other

and, without a doubt, also of hospitality when the latter conditions and auto-limits itself into a law, however "cosmopolitan" - as the Kant of perpetual peace and universal right wanted.

Consequently, anyone should be able to declare under oath: I have only one language and it is not mine; my "own" language is, for me, a language that canno t be assimilated. My language, the only one I hear myself speak and agree to speak, is the language of the other.

This abiding "alienation" [aliénation à demeure] appears, like "lack," to be constitutive. But it is neither a lack nor an alienation; it lacks nothing that precedes or follows it, it alienates no ipseity, no property, and no self that has ever been able to represent its watchful eye. Although this injunction issues a summons, lastingly [mette en demeure à demeure],4 nothing else "is there" ever to watch over its past or future. This structure of alienation without alienation, this inalienable alienation, is not only the origin of our responsibility, it also structures the peculiarity [le propre] and property of language. It institutes the phenomenon of hearing-oneself-speak in order to mean-to-say [pour vouloir dire] . But here, we must say the phenomenon as phantasm. Let us refer for the moment to the semantic and etymological affinity that associates the phantasm to the phainesthai, to phenomenality, but also to the spectrality of the phenomenon. Phantasma is also the phantom, the double, or the ghost. We are there.

—Do you mean we belong among them?

—Who, upon reading and understanding us properly, here .. .

—Here ?

—. . . or there, will dare to have someone believe the opposite? Who would dare claim to prove it? Being here in an element