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International Studies in Philosophy Monograph Series


Un-Forgetting: Re-Calling Time Lost

Stephen David Ross
Pages 247-276


A giving which gives only its gift, but in the giving holds itself back and withdraws, . . . . (Heidegger, TB, 8) the Forgotten is . . . the Law. (Lyotard, “HJ," 147) how could this thought (Heidegger’s), a thought so devoted to remembering that a forgetting (of Being) takes place in all thought, in all art, in all “representation” of the world, how could it possibly have ignored the thought of [that] which, in a certain sense, thinks, tries to think, nothing but that very fact? . . . to the point of suppressing and foreclosing to the very end the horrifying (and inane) attempt at exterminating, at making us forget forever what, in Europe, reminds us, ever since the beginning, that “there is” the Forgotten? (Lyotard, HJ, 4) [I]n witnessing, one also exterminates. The witness is a traitor. (Lyotard, I, 204) The Other becomes my neighbour precisely through the way the face summons me, calls for me, begs for me, and in so doing recalls my responsibility, and calls me into question. . . . as if I had to answer for the other’s death even before being. (83)

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