Jacques Derrida & Antoine Spire

A trace is never present, fully present, by definition; it inscribes in itself the reference to the specter of something else. The remainder is not present either, any more than a trace as such. And that is why I have been much taken up with the question of the remainder, often under this very name or more rigorously under that of restance or remaining. The remaining of the remainder is not reducible to an actual residue, or to what is left after a subtraction, either. […] Often, like the trace, I associate it with ashes: remains without a substantial remainder, essentially, but which have to be taken account of and without which there would be neither accounting nor calculation, nor a principle of reason able to give an account or a rationale (reddere rationem), nor a being as such. […] The remains of what remains cannot be calculated in this way. But there will also be remainder effects, sentences fixed on paper, more or less readable and reproducible. These remainder effects will thereby have presence effects—differently in one place or another, and in an extremely uneven way according to the contexts and the subjects that will get attached to it.

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