Monolingualism of the Other

language of the last word of the last will: speak in good French, in pure French, even at the moment of challenging in a million ways everything that is allied to it, and sometimes everything that inhabits it. Without a doubt I contracted this hyperbolism ("more French than the French," more "purely French" than was demanded by the purity of purists even while I am from the very beginning attacking purity and purification in general, and of course the "ultras" of Algeria) , this intemperate and compulsive extremism, from school, yes, in the different French schools where I have spent my life. (Look for yourself, is it fortuitous that the institutions that have harbored me, even in so-called Higher Education, have been called "schools" more often than "universities"?)

But as I have just suggested, this excessiveness was probably more archaic in me than the school. Everything must have begun before preschool; it should remain then for me to analyze it closer to my own distant past, but I still feel incapable of this. Nevertheless, I need to think back to that preschool past in order to account for the generality of the "hyperbolism" which will have invaded my life and work. Everything that proceeds under the name of "deconstruction" arises from it, of course; a telegram would suffice for that here, beginning with the "hyperbole" (it's Plato's word) that will have ordered everything, including the reinterpretation of khōra, namely, the passage to the very beyond of the passage of the Good or the One beyond being (hyperbole . . . epekeina tes ousias), excess beyond excess: impregnable. Especially, the same hyperbole will have rushed a French Jewish child from Algeria into feeling, and sometimes calling himself, down to the root of the root, before the root, and in ultra-radicality, more and less French but also more and less Jewish than all the French, al the Jews, and all the Jews of France. And here as well, [more Francophone Maghrebian] than all the Francophone Maghrebians.

Believe me, although I measure the absurdity and presumptuousness

Jacques Derrida - Monolingualism