Derrida on the Preface
In Dissemination, Jaques Derrida sums
up one of the primary difficulties of the preface: that of space and time.
"From the viewpoint of the fore-word, which recreates the
intention-to-say after the fact, the text exists as something written--a
past--which under the false appearance of a present, a hidden omnipotent
author (in full mastery of his product) is presenting to the reader as his
future. Here is what I wrote, then read, and what I am writing that you
are going to read. After which you will again be able to take possession
of this preface which in sum you have not yet begun to read, even though,
once having read it, you will already have anticipated everything that follows
and thus might just as well dispense with reading the rest" (7).
The Preface Violates Space and Time
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