New Criticals

Derrida reminds us that the pharmakon, writing, and Thoth/Theuth are all “always involved in questions of life and death,” writing in particular because it is left behind and left over. [5] Exceeding and extending (beyond) life, postponing or negating any kind of absolute erasure, writing leaves us with a ghost that “will represent [us] even if [we are forgotten]; [writing] will transmit [our] words even if [we] are not there to animate them.” [6] He concludes that every act of Thoth/Theuth, like the pharmakon, “is marked by this unstable ambivalence. This god of calculation, arithmetic, and rational science also presides over the occult sciences, astrology and alchemy. He is the god of magic formulas that calm the sea, of secret accounts, of hidden texts: an archetype of Hermes, god of cryptography, no less than of every other –graphy." [7] Derrida has his crypt-[ograph] in pharmakon, this irresolvable word of writing and inscribing, death and monument. Where is ours?