Taking Risks or Eliminating Them: On Bullies, Sophists, and Philosopher-Writers


Throughout the Platonic dialogues, Socrates takes aim at Sophists and writers.     The problem Socrates has with the Sophists is that they may sound good but, in truth, they don’t know what they are talking about.   They are masters of language, not thought.   By way of analogy, Socrates suggests that to follow a Sophist is to follow a blind man (the blind are leading the blind). In contrast, the thinker can see what is in front of him by virtue of a kind of dialectic or logic that transcends language and writing.

Like the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, Michel Serres argues that writing and rhetoric are spoken for in the Platonic dialogues.   Writing can’t speak for itself. Plato turns the Sophist into a puppet or straw man who is, from the start to finish, immolated by the bull, Socrates.   Socrates plays the analyst to the Sophist writer. He bullies him:

Socrates, the analyst, demands short speeches. He interrupts rhetoricians and rhapsodies, he barks, makes fun of them. His questions cut up the expose into brief phrases of dialogue, and dichotomy brings the proposition back to the minimal length, that of a word. (81)

Serres likens him to a “myopic bull” that refuses to be affected by writing:

The myopic bull, neck lowered on the ochre sand, throws his tons and his works, in rectilinear orbit….Bull Socrates, globular eyes, bald forehead, fawn’s muffle, ugly to the point of being scary, unseats with one blow of his head the disarticulated Sophist puppet. (83)

Serres sees Socrates’ battle as “senseless.” He suggests that the philosopher learn from rather than bully or destroy the writer.   He calls this person “philosopher-writer.” He “tries things out, he essays.”

He experiences, experiments. He tests, he assays: the two ancient chemistry, of alchemy even, that has returned to common usage…The philosopher writer experiments on language by constructing it, just as the gesture of the artisan continues, prolongs the lineage of his art, musical staff or line of meaning, and as much as it can, advances. (79)

In contrast, the “analyst (philosopher) stops, breaks theorizes” while the writer “pursues connections, fabricates, because he believes that one knows nothing of what one has not practiced professionally. Cant produces a sterile knowledge of dead things. To know language, one must make it, too.   One must test or assay it”(79).

Challenging the rationalist conception of the essay, Serres suggests a different kind of essay that may have a “nonsensical result” because it, since it assays, takes risks that expose one to the unknown:

A faithful assay or essay sometimes, often, produces a negative, opposed, nonsensical result. Objects take revenge just as language does, just as the earth does once one no longer works it. They reserve the unexpected, do not react as foreseen. Experimentation carries a risk – of the aleatory, the unknown. (79)

Serres suggests that the philosophy-writer needs to expose himself to creation rather than elevate him or herself above it.   Writing is exposure, vulnerability, and risk:

One exposes oneself when one makes, one imposes oneself when one unmakes. When one unmakes, one is never wrong, in effect. I know of no better way to always be right….Fragile, naked, precariously balanced, the writer relies only on talent that never has the solidity of method: with no school to protect him by means of dialogue and a fixed position in the group, without imitator or master, he explores alone. He can thus miss, make mistakes, or lose himself. He bears this possible error and this potential to fall like wounds on the flank of his work. The pain and courage of wandering in order to pay for newness…..He never knows who will enter the next page. Never mind the fall, he tests! If he loses he will not have done anything wrong, and if he wins he will rejoice. (80)

Instead of having Socrates battle with or bully the Sophists, he suggests that philosopher learn from the writer.   He likes the unity of the two to a comic couple that many scholars think gave birth to modern literature: Don Quixote and Sancho Panza.

In other words, we need to picture the relationship between the writer and philosopher in terms other than war. Comedy helps us to have this vision:

An old savage philosophy where peace cannot intervene except between a derisory Socrates seated on his ass and a beautiful, discomfited Plato perched on his mare, running after pure ideas – Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. (85)

There can be “no philosophy without this appeased pair, laughing about useless battles that have simply become rituals, through commemoration”(85).     Serres is spot on. The philosopher must learn to love writing and learn from writing in stead of warring with the writer. The philosopher must be willing to become a “philosopher-writer” who takes risks and exposes himself to failure, the aleatory, and the unknown.   That is the risk of assaying (essaying) language and reality.   One may discover things that are surprising. On the other hand, one can also fall into the darkness.

If the philosopher cannot deal with the risk posed by writing (creation), then he may become a bully and repeat a senseless battle.   Instead of doing this, the philosopher must be willing to learn from the writer.   Serres adds that the philosopher must be willing to learn from language with love and ask for its support.   Although this move seems stupid and naïve to the philosopher, Serres suggests that it is necessary if the “adventure” of knowledge is to truly begin.   It can only begin if the philosopher takes the risk and entrusts him or herself to the experience of language. It can only begin if the thinker is willing to take risks rather than eliminate them.

The interesting thing about all of this is that Kierkegaard suggests that, despite his bullying tendencies, Socrates took a risk when he made an assertion. He stated it as a hypothesis worth risking oneself over rather than something self-evident and true.   (i.e: If immortality exists…).    This would suggest a different kind of Socrates.

But, still, Socrates didn’t write; Kierkegaard did. The latter’s risks were tied more to language than to ideas. Kierkegaard, as a writer, therefore, had a harder time bullying the Sophist.  While he took risks in life, anyone who reads him will know how some of his greatest risks were discovered through writing.  He knew that wisdom also comes with taking risks, not eliminating them.  If he or she is to think (albeit not in a Socratic sense), the “philosopher-writer” should be willing to take these risks.   Although this may seem like a tragic decision to give up on an ancient battle, it is in fact a comic victory and what Serres would call a “faithful assay.”




Like a Complete Unknown: On Michel Serres’ Reading of the “Third,” “Nohbdy” and Rebirth


It goes without saying that dialogue is a symbol of progress and understanding in the West.   Whether it is the Martin Buber or Emmanuel Levinas, the principle players in the discourse are “I” and “you” (or “me” and the “other”). For Buber, the task is not to turn the other into an “it.”   In the spirit of Immanuel Kant, Buber sees the highest achievement for humanity – and perhaps the gateway for what Kant would call “perpetual peace” – to be the treatment of the other as an “end in itself.”   While this is an understandably noble act, what we may overlook is that the world that Enlightenment thinkers like Kant or existential thinkers like Buber reflect on is occupied by only a few positions that are of interest: I, you, we, and us. The impersonal (the “it”) is excluded because it is not…personal. “It” falls outside the realm of rational discourse and humanity because it is seen as an obstacle or incidental.   To put it bluntly, while you, I, or us are large and shape the world, the “it” is small and inconsequential.   But, on the contrary, what may be regarded as an “it” with little to no value may in fact have more of a role than “we” think.

Michel Serres, in The Troubadour of Knowledge, calls the impersonal “the third.”     And he argues that it is excluded from discourse. The third comes in…last place:

In the course of dialogue, he or she, that or they, outsiders, designate the exclusion or the exterior of the closed group of our conversation, the state of not belonging to our communication, therefore a third place. (46)

However, the last may go from the excluded to becoming a being that encompasses discourse. The third is a part of what he calls the transformation. The third can be a breakthrough. It can become the “milieu of everything” and can disturb and overtake our discourse:

Nothing can become everything, which can drown in nothingness. The third person, excluded, badly placed on the edge of mid-place, rarely bears the name of the person, because he borrows his own name from a demonstrative, but can become the milieu of everything, and, in particular, of us – we who are given over to language, that objective and inter-subjective milieu in which our tongues have always been immersed. (46)

Through the third’s transformation, Serres says we can understand the relation of “nothing to everything” as well as the “secret of begetting” and the “becoming of time.”

Serres uses several actual and literary examples to show how the third – neither you, nor me, nor us – transforms from nothing to everything.   Serres brings up Snow White who “encounters old dwarfs” in the forest. He notes how the dwarf is a transitional character. Dwarves are “old, but children in size, a quasi equality (between Snow White the Dwarves)…permits her to remain protected while becoming a protector, still a child, already mature; mother quickly, and child still. She will thus be reborn, from herself, from them, from the forest, in her self and otherwise, a daughter who is mother of herself”(49). Serres suggests that in this juxtaposition of small and big, old and young, there is a gateway for the third to move from nothing to something.

But this is no mere fairy tale.   Serres moves from Snow White to the slave who experiences pain and nothingness: “Other and experiencing alterity painfully, the slave is familiar with the exterior.” Like a slave, the person who transforms from small to big feels the pain of the impersonal. It is, for Serres, a prerequisite to what he calls “instruction” and knowledge:

Thus the world enters the body and the soul of the greenhorn: impersonal time and also the strangeness of the excluded, iste, the derided slave, and soon that of the master, ille, still far away, at the end of the voyage. Before arriving, he is no longer the same, reborn. The first person becomes the third person before entering the school door. (49)

In school we learn of universals, but science doesn’t understand suffering, otherness, and evil like literature does (hence, literature and the pain it takes note of and reflects on, as well as the movement from nothing to everything is, for Serres, a prerequisite). While science speaks to the truth of the global, literature speaks to the pain of the local:

Literature has cried misery and suffering since its birth. Science has not yet learned the language of this sob. In this tragic place begins the reason of the third-instructed.   Suffering and misfortune, pain injustice, and hunger are found at the point where the global touches the local, the universal the singular, power weakness, knowledge blindness. (70)

A great example of how becoming nothing can become a transitional point can be found in Homer’s Odyssey. While Theodor Adrono sees Odysseus (the main character of Homer’s Odyssey) as the example of the cunning mind that elevates reason and the will to power over mythology, Serres sees Odysseus as challenging the power of speech and reason by becoming “Nohbdy” (the spelling marks his exclusion).   This marks a moment in the text when Odysseus has to confront Polyphemous, the Cyclops.

Odysseus – at the point in the narrative – has lost nearly all of his power. Serres contrasts this to the all-powerful Cyclops whose “eye” is like a “laser beam” – it sees more and better (seeing = power):

Who will cauterize this implacable light?…A man named Nohbdy. A man who has wandered for such a long time, by sea and outside islands, that he has lost everything, that is vessels and his sandals, his tunic, his plans, even his own name still forsake him today. He is no longer counted. (66)

In contrast to him is Polyphemous, “that means: the one who speaks a lot, the one of whom one often speaks a lot….He counts a lot. All of his glory emanates from his eye”(66).   Serres calls Polyphemous an “encyclopediest” who has “a one hundred thousand striking or rigorous words at his disposal.”

When Odysseus manages to “cauterize the giant gaze, in the center, with his pointed sword, he blinds himself”(67). Serres, in other words, sees this act as an act of self-abasement and becoming invisible (becoming nothing and “nohbdy”):

He effaces Polyphemous, his own pen name, his beautiful, renowned last name, not in order to adopt a new moniker, but to renounce all: here he is, invisible, Nohbdy. He leaves the glory and the power….and flees from the den in the belly of a wooly ram, not taken, not seen. Nobody sees him reborn from the black hole of the grotto, by means of an invisible and animal birth. (67)

In other words, Nohbdy is “reborn” (nohbdy becomes an “author”) by way of becoming other, becoming animal.   The nothing –the third – becomes the milieu through which communication and reflection is possible.     This is what goes on before Odysseus returns home or before he crosses the threshold and enters the school.   Serres suggests, here, how literature can take us through the paradox of nothing becoming something. But ultimately, this process is not tragic. Rebirth is comic. The movement from nothing to something is a movement through pain. It tells us the story of how one goes from a complete unknown, to becoming, as Bob Dylan would say, a “rolling stone.”



“Before the Soup (After Kafka)” by Gary Barwin

Chaplin How He Does It (photoplayvolume11112chic_1253)

Before the Soup (After Kafka)

by Gary Barwin


A gatekeeper sits before the gate. As always, it stands open. A traveller asks to be let in.       “No.”


“Maybe,” the gatekeeper says. “But understand that though I am powerful, I am only the most lowly gatekeeper. Before each of the many gates, one after the other, there are other gatekeepers, each more powerful than the next. For instance, I can’t manage even one look at the third.”

“I understand,” the traveller says. “But you look hungry. Have some soup.” The traveller takes a bowl and spoon from his greatcoat and offers some to the gatekeeper. As he does, he trips, and trying to not to spill the soup, stumbles through the gate. He staggers past the first gatekeeper and, still balancing the soup, staggers past the second gatekeeper and the second gate, and as he stumbles through the third gate, he spills soup on the third gatekeeper, so terrible to behold,

“Sorry, sorry,” he says as continues to stumble, now past the fourth gatekeeper, more terrible still, and the fourth gate.

The traveller continues to stagger. He continues to stumble past both gates and gatekeepers, spilling soup on many. He may be stumbling still. It is a mystery not easily understood and he has left his bowl and spoon on the outside.


gary barwin headshot

Gary Barwin is a writer, composer, multimedia artist and the author of twenty books of poetry, fiction and books for children. His recent books include the national bestselling novel, Yiddish for Pirates (Random House Canada) and the short fiction collection, I, Dr. Greenblatt, Orthodontist, 251-1457. A new poetry collection, No TV for Woodpeckers (Wolsak & Wynn) will appear next year. A PhD in music composition, Barwin has been Writer-in-Residence at Western University and Young Voices E-Writer-in-Residence at the Toronto Public Library, and has taught creative writing at a number of colleges and universities. Currently, he is writer-in-residence at several shelters/custody facilities with ArtForms’ “Writers in the House” program for at-risk youth. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario where he hopes one day to translate Kafka into Klingon.

On Literary Pain: Comic and Tragic (From John Updike and Franz Kafka to Louis CK)


The feeling of pain (what Emmanuel Levinas calls the “little death”) and the existential onset of death are the most private experiences. It goes without saying that nobody can feel my pain or experience my death for me. Even though someone can take notice of pain and say, “I feel you.” He or she really can’t.   My pain – and not just my freedom – is what makes me a separate individual. It can be argued that pain gives one a sense of selfhood.   What narrative – as opposed to myth – can do is make the reader aware of pain and that all pain is not necessary.   The innocent suffer.  It can give us a view into the character’s private pain and contrast it to a public which cannot or refuses to see it. A thinker named Rene Girard argues that this perspective is what distinguishes monotheism from paganism.

It is plausible to argue that this perspective on pain is a key ingredient of modern literature. The more we can see the literary pain of a fictional character in contrast to his surroundings or people, the more valuable a piece of literature can be for us. It can help us to understand the relationship of pain to selfhood and the world. However, there is another side to this coin. This perspective is tragic, not comic. Comedy isn’t interested in pain so much as in what Freud would call the release of tension (for Freud the psyche feels pleasure when it releases such tension).   In modern literature, we also experience such a release from pain. It may not be complete, but its release does make things better.  It may not be as deep but it means a lot to us.  When we laugh at ourselves, we can live better.  (To put it simply: pain is heavy; comedy is light.)

John Updike is an interesting Pulitzer Prize winning writer. He tends more toward a fiction that is about pain and sharing that pain as a kind of secret with his audience. I find his theology of pain interesting. His obsession with pain is affected by his belief that suffering has a religious quality (perhaps in a sense similar to Kierkegaard).  In his novel, The Centaur, he takes a Kafkaesque premise (of a human turning into a creature) but instead of having the character turn into a bug he has the main character turn into a centaur.   And instead of having this happen in the privacy of the home and within the space of the family, Updike has it happen in the midst of the public sphere (in front of a class).   The subject is – immediately – a kind of Christ figure who is publically ridiculed when he “turns.”

Caldwell turned and as he turned his ankle received an arrow. The class burst into laughter. The pain scaled the slender core of his shin, whirled in the complexities of his knee, and swollen broader, more thunderous, mounted into his bowels. (9)

Updike moves back and forth between his private pain and his public ridicule (laughter, here, is not comic; it is a cruel kind of laughter – what the poet, Charles Baudelaire, would call Satanic laughter):

The laughter of the class, graduating from the first shrill bark of surprise into a deliberately aimed hooting, seemed to crowd against him, to crush the privacy that he so much desired, a privacy in which he could be alone with his pain, gauging its strength, estimating its duration, inspecting its anatomy. (9)

The contrast is explicit.   Updike’s narrator is telling his reader about how significant private pain is and how the inability to feel one’s own pain – as a result of humiliation – marks the “crush(ing)” of selfhood.

Updike’s close descriptions of the pain suggest that it is not merely a private affair. Its description takes on a kind of religious aura:

The pain seemed to be displacing with its own hairy segments his heart and lungs; as its gripped swelled in his throat he felt he was holding his brain like a morsel on a platter high out of hungry reach. (9)

The following sentences note how Caldwell is overwhelmed by external sensory stimuli. He leaves the classroom to flee it and only comes across more noise as he passes through the hall of the public school.

The narrator suggests that his pain helps Caldwell to grow and mature. He now feels – since he is a Centaur – a split between his lower and upper parts of his body:

His top half felt all afloat in the starry firmament of ideals and young voices singing; the rest of his self was heavily sunk in a swamp where it must, inevitably, drown. (10)

His top and bottom suggest a mind/body dualism. But it is his body and its pain that make him aware of his selfhood.   But Updike suggests something interesting about the relationship of pain to the world. While the boys in school ridicule him and force him into himself, the space of nature does the opposite:

Outdoors, in the face of spatial grandeur, his pain seemed abashed. Dwarfed, it retreated into his ankle, became hard and sullen and contemptible.. Caldwell’s strange silhouette took on dignity; his shoulders – a little narrow for so large a creature – straightened, and he moved, if not at a prance, yet with such a pressured stoic grace that the limp was enrolled in his stride. (11)

From here, Updike has him turn toward his home (which, as we can see here, he approaches with a kind of strength). The contrast with Kafka’s bug is suggestive. Updike seems to be exploring a different kind of selfhood. While the Centaur’s pain is shared with you, the reader; we also see that he has a unique relationship with nature. Kafka’s bug has no such relationship. He is confined to a house and lives, suffers, and dies in a house (or to be more specific, in his bedroom).   Kafka’s story, it seems, is more tragic. The fate of the soul – apparently, for Kafka – is to suffer privately and to be discarded by his family and the world.

While Kafka’s Gregor Samsa “turns” into a bug sometime while he is asleep, Updike’s Caldwell turns in front of the class. His shame is more public.   But he can leave them. He can live his solitude in the world.   There is nothing comical about either Updike or Kafka’s creatures.   They are tragic.

Is this the secret of literature? Do we need to deepen our sense of pain? Is Updike associating comedy and laughter with ridicule and crushing the soul? Is that fair? Can’t comedy also be associated with selfhood? How does comedy – in literature – create another kind of solidarity? Doesn’t that solidarity also include aspects of the body and pain –albeit a kind of relief from pain?

Or is it the case that comedy – like that of Louis CK – reminds us that pain is something that we can and perhaps should laugh at because…it won’t just go away? With age, it only increases.   And a good deed, as we see in this clip, can always devolve into a bad one. However, this devolution may also give us something to laugh about since we all know what’s it’s like to screw up. Perhaps it’s the event that sticks out in comedy and the private anguish of this or that character.   Louis CK brings both into play and brings it all to the surface.












What Am I Next? Tsimsum, Soul & Traversing Space in Michel Serres’ “The Troubadour of Knowledge”


Language can take us places. It can create an opportunity for us to leave ourselves and go somewhere we have never been. But the only way for that kind of displacement to happen is for us to identify with the text and its movements. However, not all texts will do.   A good writer has an acute sense of movement and change. This sensibility is reflected in a kind of writing that not only moves us but also gives us a kind of knowing that Shunryu Suzuki – the famous Zen master – associates with readiness (“It is the readiness of the mind that is wisdom”).     For each line to be moving, one must be ready for what Michel Serres calls “exposure” or what Jean Luc Nancy would call surprise. In Serres’ The Troubadour of Knowledge, exposure marks a sudden movement from contraction to expansion. I would aver that this articulation of movement is a figuration for the dynamic process of tsimtsum.   By articulating exposure, contraction, and expansion, Serres takes the reader through what I would call a “theology of smallness.”

In The Troubadour of Knowledge, Serres tells his reader to get ready:

Be on the alert! Watch out! A given event, this mood, a project or thought passes, requires, solicits: in this way a gap arises. (28)

The gap that occurs resonates with the notion of tsimtsum because it suggests a withdrawal and an opening that occurs between God and man.

Precisely the divergence of walking: the child goes to seek its fortune in the world, launches one foot in relation to the other foot that is set down, rooted, a root directed toward the center of the Earth even though it covers a locality. The disequilibrium free of cares, with no guarantees, with an inchoate disquiet, laughing and risky, being has just dumped the there. It is exposed. It abandons abasement and rises up. Grows and launches its branch. Jumps. It leaves what is stable and moves way. Walks, runs. It leaves the shore and takes off. Swims. It abandons habit to experiment. It evolves. Offers. Loves. Passes the ball.   Forgets its own home, climbs, travels, wanders, gets to know, looks, invents, thinks. (28)

For Serres, the “there” is the “position” of being (it is a contracted point) and there is a distance or “gap” between this position and what he calls “exposure.”   This third thing – this gap between position and exposure – invents a place that is exposed. It is not my place but the space of otherness, expansion, and life. Through this exposure, I am no longer the same being occupying the same position:

Who am I? First this stable position that cannot be uprooted. Tree or vegetable, some kind of green. What am I next? I am no longer there, I am not me, I expose myself: I am that exposure. I am toward the other step, no longer in rootedness, but at the extremities, made mobile by the wind, at the branchings, on the summit of the mountain, at the other end of the world from which I depart, in animal movements, crawling, flight, running….(30)

What, Serres asks, am I “as a whole?” He answers that I am the “totality of the volume between being-there and the exposed point, between the position set down in this place, a thesis that is often low, and exposure”(30). He calls the distance between the “low” position and exposure – which is a part of a whole or totality and he calls the “large dimension” – the soul.

The two points between position and exposure can also be understood in terms of contraction and expansion: “the low and stable point of the place or the there positioned, set down, on the one hand, and the high point, the nonplace or enlargement of the soul, the risk or liberation, explosion”(30).

An interesting counterpoint to Serres can be found in Jean Luc Nancy who sees presence – qua laughter – as an explosion of presence but fails to note that this explosion returns to a point of contraction.   Serres likens the contraction to humility and earth and the expansion to God: “God magnifies my soul; my soul magnifies God; the separation between nothing and everything – magnitude makes God and my soul”(31).

A telling thing about Serres’ reading is that in writing this way, he like Nancy, seems to only focus on the movement toward expansion and God. God, it seems, is not to be found in the contraction. Rather, for Serres, position, earth, and death seem to be synonymous. While he is right to note the space between position and exposure, he is averse to maintaining the tension. Perhaps this is because he wants to measure the “space” between one and the other so as to experience joy.

The humblest experience of joy confirms that the soul fills the glory of the skies with its song or the world with its nothingness. And the same for time: beatitude runs from generation to generation, so that the devout inhabits the unfurled omnitude of space and history.  

Accompanied by joy, experience opens this space – which goes from there to elsewhere and can go from Earth to God – for the construction or dilation of the soul, by opening up or piercing a passage, a threshold, a door, a port through which to reach one of these exposed places.   (31)

Experience “traverses these spaces.” But it comes to end in ecstasy and “creates a differential in time”(31).   Experience is – by its very nature – expansive. It goes beyond the “bestial instinct” which is “positioned” and is a “being there.”   While Serres sees the human in terms of experiences venture away from the position, his reading of humility puts it closer to death and locality.

This reading is fascinating insofar as Rabbi Joseph Soloveichik in his Lonely Man of Faith argues that there are “two Adams” – one that contracts and one that expands. Serres, it seems is more into the second Adam which, according to Soloveichik, is a figure for humanities desire to experience, know, and move more. The second Adam experiences joy but also frustration at limitations while the first Adam is local, closer to death and humility. Judaism – for Soloveichik – exists between these poles. One balances out the other and the tsimtsum creates this tension. Serres doesn’t see God in the contraction so much as in the expansion.

The schlemiel character exists between the two. The schlemiel is a small character. But while he is small in the realm of experience, he is large in the realm of goodness. The soul of the schlemiel is measured by his distance from the second Adam. Nonetheless, Sholem Aleichem’s schlemiels (Motl and Menachem Mendl) both set out for America and I.B. Singer’s Gimpel is on the move. They aren’t looking for more knowledge and experience, however. They are looking for goodness and trust. They are exposed to all types of accidents and lies but they keep on the move.   Much like Charlie Chaplin who doesn’t seem to stop moving, the schlemiel’s experience of God, so to speak, is in his narrow escape from this or that fate (on this note, Hannah Arendt calls the Chaplanesque schlemiel “the suspect”). His joy is on the run and, playing on Serres, I’d argue that it measures the space between position and exposure. His life is one non-stop tsimtsum, a theology of smallness.

When I look at Chaplin or when I read Aleichem’s Motl’s, I can’t help but hear Serres in my ear….with a comical twist:

What am I next? I am no longer there, I am not me, I expose myself: I am that exposure. I am toward the other step, no longer in rootedness, but at the extremities, made mobile by the wind, at the branchings, on the summit of the mountain, at the other end of the world from which I depart, in animal movements, crawling, flight, running