from Novalis' L'Encyclopedie :
At bottom, you see, the world is made to end up as a beautiful book [p. 872]...I have always dreamed and attempted something else, with an alchemist's patience, ready to sacrifice all vanity and satisfaction, just as, long ago, they used to burn all their furniture and the beams from their rafters to feed the furnace of the Philosopher's Stone [Grand Oeuvre]. What? it's hard to say: a book, plainly, in many volumes, a book that would truly be a book, architectural and premeditated, and not a collection of chance inspirations, no matter how marvelous...I'll go even further and say: the Book, convinced that at bottom there is but one, attempted unaware by whoever has written, even the Geniuses. The Orphic explanation of the Earth, which is the poet's sole duty and the literary game par excellence; for the very rhythm of the book, which then would be impersonal and alive right down to its pagination, juxtaposes itself with the equations of this of this dream, or Ode...I am possessed by this and perhaps I will succeed; not in composing this work in its entirety (one would have to be I don't know who for that!) but in showing one fragment of it executed, in making its glorious authenticity at some point scintillate, and in pointing to the whole of the rest, for which one life is not enough. Proving by portions accomplished that this book exists, that I have known what I haven't been able to do. (Letter to Verlaine, November 16, 1885)
Novalis, L'encyclopedie, trans. Maurice de Gandillac, Paris: Minuit, 1966, as quoted in Jauques Derrida, Dissemination, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981.
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