Precis: Writing...writing

Writing can be either a “remedy or poison”, depending on the person doing the writing, or at least that is what we are led to believe as Derrida discusses Plato’s Phaedrus in his “Plato’s Pharmacy” (70). Derrida spends his time dissecting Plato’s work, trying to define for us what is truly at the heart of Plato’s argument, which relates to knowledge and its conflict with writing, and the assumption that it is “repeating without knowing” (74).The relationship between writing and myth, which Derrida spends the majority of his argument relating, is that which allows the text to become clearer the closer a reader comes to the end. Myths are typically thought of as stories that are used to justify something, especially in relation to existence; in this case, myth justifies writing. In the end, though, “repeating without knowing” leads us to repeat “without knowing,” which allows us the opportunity to understand (75).

Derrida, Jacques. “Plato’s Pharmacy.” Disseminations. Ed. Barbara Johnson. Chicago: University of Chicago Publishing, 1977. 63-75.

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