“Operating through seduction, the pharmakon makes one stray from one’s general, natural, habitual paths and laws.”
Like many things in life there is a fine between medicine and poison. Taken in moderation, sleeping pills can aid an insomniac; when abused, the same pills could have deadly results. In Pharmacia, Derrida defines pharmakon as “the drug: the medicine and/or poison” (70). What is important about this definition is that it illuminates an important aspect of duality, and pressed further, this duality is applied to the tricky business of writing. “Operating through seduction, the pharmakon makes one stray from one’s general, natural, habitual paths and laws” (70). This most certainly applies to writing, for in the best of cases, it forces the writer to look beyond themselves, beyond their own experience, and attempt to achieve in fact a greater sense of being. To abandon convention and press your own personal limits is to toy with the medicine/poison of the unknown, which, as Derrida states “the definition of writing, [...] is to repeat without knowing” (75).
2 years ago