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By Yves De Maeseneer

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There is always an element of the known in the uncovering of the unknown. Even the Greek gods knew this, which is why in order to say unanticipated things to mortals they appeared in anticipated forms. Often it is only later that the human recipient of a divine appearing in myth discovers that he or she has received a visit and a message from Olympus. Even the divinity of Christ is attested in the Gospels by his conformity to what is prophesied for the messiah – it is not enough that he should have known for himself that he was the Son of God.

The point is that to bracket something in this way, one needs to presuppose some instance that performs the reduction. The reduction is indeed performed by an empirical ego, but is valid if and only if the ego that performs it can presuppose that another human being will perform it in the same way. That he or she will do so, however, is only to be verified in speaking to one another. Hence the importance of what, admittedly, has been wrongfully called ‘intersubjectivity’. 36 Marion, Being Given, pp.

This second, neutral dimension is marked by ‘an overbidding, an outrage of life that cannot be contained within life’; it interrupts friendship and love, marking them at their most intense moments with a mark that is strictly outside them as they are conventionally understood. Blanchot will talk of counter-living as a response to the approach of the Outside or the Imaginary and will ponder it now in terms of writing and now by way of the everyday. To live an event as an image: there can be no more concise evocation of postmodern life.

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