NBC Today Show: Guy Debord Interviews Edmund Jabès on Systemic Racism in America
Q: They tell me you’re writing a book?
A: Liars. Knaves.
Q. Can you explain for our viewers what your new book is about?
A: You are the one who writes and is written.
Q: Excuse us?
A: Mark the first page of the book with a red marker. For in the beginning, the wound is invisible.
Q: Right. Where is your new book set?
A: In the book.
Q: I’m sorry. I’m having trouble following you.
A: I, too, have often tried to give up.
Q: We are almost at commercial. Can you tell us, quickly, what is your story?
A: Ours, insofar it is absent.
Q: I do not understand.
A: Speaking tortures me.
Q: Let me rephrase. What is your truth? We have 30 seconds before the break.
A: What lacerates me.
Q: And your salvation?
A: Forgetting what I said.
Q: That’s a big amen. If only Nixon were so lucky.
A: There are no steps in the sea. Nor degrees in pain.
Q: To see is to go through mirrors. At the end we see the night of the last star.
A: You are getting the hang of this.
Q: One of the things I hate about my job is these damn commercials. I also hate what is said in places I leave behind.
A: You trade in a future which is immediately translated.
Q: Let the dead bury their dead.
Q: When, as a child, I wrote my name for the first time, I knew I was beginning a book.
A: Repeat after me: Fuck the commercial.
Q: You are walking toward death. You are walking on all the deaths which belong to you and your race, and the lack of sense of these deaths.
A: Yet some solemnly intone that America is not a racist country.
Q: To the blind man who begged for his blessing, Reb Yekel said: Speak to the man who sees with your missing eyes.
A: To the one-armed man who begged for his blessing, Reb Derrida said: Speak to the man who builds with your missing arm.
Q: Shall we have lunch?
Q: Can you buy? I think I’m out of a job.
A: Never work.
Q: Although I have read a lot, I have drunk even more. I have written much less than most people who write, but I have drunk much more than most people who drink.
A: Noted. Shit. Did I just agree to buy?
Q: The happiness to be oneself is what the horse feels when it has thrown off its rider.
Gary Percesepe is the author of The Winter of J, and an Associate Editor at New World Writing.