Another Naming, a Living Animal: Blanchot’s Community


The dog appears. Its head is above the line. Is the dog slipping back? Its head is on the line. Is it submerging again, tasting death as the admixture of fear and the quicksand that will eventually end the ebb and flow of life? Is it scrambling futilely up a bank that no longer holds? The dog is being defined by its eventual death. While still allowing for the severity of the animal’s predicament, its appearance may be precisely the ebb and flow, thus a continuity of life not structured by death but by having-to-exist. Within what then does the dog appear? The question has force precisely because it has an exigency that cannot be escaped since neither answer nor direct resolution is at hand. The question endures. Once allowed, the question repositions the line. No longer mere appearance, the line is neither the sign of a simple division nor is it able to sustain a simple either/or. Death cannot be equated with the dark. Equally, the light cannot be reduced to the life that may be escaping. (Though it should not be forgotten that Goya’s work belongs to the so-called Black Paintings.) The dog’s head interrupts the line. As a result, what is opened is a site.

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