In Dissemination, Derrida uses quotations from Novalis' L'Encyclopedie to discuss his notion of textual unity and its ramifications. In introducing this concept of the relation of all texts to one another, he goes a step further and traces the common source from which all written texts issue forth:
On this condition, "literature" comes out of the book. Mallarme's Book issues from The Book. (p 54)
Here Derrida is noting that not only are all written texts related to each other because of shared contexts like culture, but because they are all written. He asserts that the process of writing a book, within the print medium, is common to each printed text, and thus binds each of these texts together into one, later calling the Book "the voluminous binding of all writing" (56).
Hence Derrida's insistence that his "outwork" is not a preface--indeed, that a preface is a misnomer, for no work written before the "main" work could in some way come before it, could not be included in it. Derrida argues that a preface, in introducing a certain subject, inevitably discusses that subject and thus belongs in the main body of the text. Or, if it only introduces the methods used in discussing or researching the main subject, it either employs those same methods or other ones that need introducing, need a preface, as well. Essentially, both preface and main body of a text are written, are created using the print medium, and thus are inextricably linked together. Derrida notes this lack of true boundaries between what is and is not in the "main" body of a work:
The staging of a title, a first sentence, an epigraph, a pretext, a preface, a single germ, will never make a beginning. It was indefinitely dispersed... There is nothing but text, there is nothing but extratext, in sum an "unceasing preface" that undoes the philosophical representation of the text, the received opposition between the text and what exceeds it. (43)
In this passage, Derrida, in addition to attempting to shatter notions of the logic by which one places certain fragments within a text, also attacks the structuralists and their notion of binary oppositions. These oppositions create such false notions as preface and main text, inside and outside of a text, etc. In Derrida's poststructuralist world, these oppositions become merely shades on an infinite spectrum, in which all shades from one extreme to the other are in the end related.
The concept of inside a text, for instance, necessitates a binary opposite, an outside. But this seems impossibly difficult to define--for what is outside a text? Is another book that deeply influenced the author outside the text? How about if the first author alluded to it, or actually placed a passage from that other author's work into his own? Then does that passage belong "inside" or "outside" the text? The fact that perhaps the most convenient or accurate answer may be "both" proves that these binary oppositions must give way to a spectral model.
link to Calvino's usage of textual unity