Heidegger's Hand (Geschlecht II)

86). He writes this just as Germany is entering the war against Russia and the United States, a country that is also not spared in this seminar—but there was no electric typewriter yet.

This apparently positive evaluation of manuscripture does not exclude, on the contrary, a devalorization of writing in general. This devalorization makes sense given the general interpretation of the art of writing as the growing destruction of the word or of speech. The typewriter is only a modern aggravation of the evil. This evil comes not only through writing but also through literature. Just before the quotation of "Mnemosyne," Was heisst Denken? advances two trenchant affirmations: (1) Socrates is "the purest thinker of the West. This is why he wrote nothing [der reinste Denker des Abendlandes. Deshalb hat er nichts geschrieben]" (WD 52; 17). He knew how to place himself in the draft and in the withdrawing movement of what gives itself to be thought (in den Zugwind dieses Zuges). In another passage, which also discusses this withdrawal (Zug des Entziehens), Heidegger again distinguishes man from animal, this time from migratory birds. In the very first pages of Was heisst Denken? before quoting "Mnemosyne" for the first time, he writes: "Once we are drawn into the withdrawal [Zug des Entziehens], we are . . . like migratory birds, but in an entirely different way, caught in the pull of what draws, attracts us by its withdrawal" (WD 5; 9). The choice of the example here stems from the German idiom: "migratory bird" is Zugvogel in German. We, men, are in the pull (Zug) of this withdrawal, nur ganz anders als die Zugvogel. (2) Second trenchant affirmation: thought declines the moment one begins to write, on leaving [au sortir de] thought, by escaping [en sortant de] thought in order to seek refuge from it, as from the draft. This is the moment when thought entered literature (Das Denken ging in die Literatur ein) (WD 52; 18). Sheltered from thought, this entry into writing and literature (in the broad sense of the word) would have decided the fate of Western science as much by the way of the doctrina of the Middle Ages (teaching, discipline, Lehre) as by the science of modern times. At issue naturally is what constructs the dominant concept of discipline, teaching, and the university. Thus one sees all the traits—whose incessant recurrence I have elsewhere recalled under the names logocentrism and phonocentrism—being organized around the hand and speech, with great coherence. Logocentrism and phonocentrism dominate a certain very continuous discourse of Heidegger's—whatever the lateral or marginal

Psyche: Inventions of the Other vol. II by Jacques Derrida page 48