The word by way of preface which seeks to break through the screen stretched between the author and the reader by the book itself does not give itself out as a word of honor. But it belongs to the very essence of language, which consists in continually undoing its phrase by the foreword or the exegesis, in unsaying the said, in attempting to restate without ceremonies what has already been ill understood in the inevitable ceremonial in which the said delights.
(Emmanuel Levinas, Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority, p. 30)
It can't be denied that these very words have a ceremonial quality to them. They ceremonialize the break with ceremony they attemptor perhaps it's not so much that they themselves ceremonialize as they are embedded in a history of ceremonial deceremonializations. Ceremoniality already imbues them before they are said. We can see Levinas' unsaying of that idea, and even perhaps the whole thrust of these words which attempt to unsay more than was said in the passage above, or to say the left unsaid that imbued the sayingby virtue of leaving, perhaps, a withdrawal from saying.
He inspires, Levinas. I aspire to do ceremony unceremoniously, to express an unceremonious style while carrying out life's daily rituals. Why elevate the routine to the ceremonial? Why risk being pompous at all? Why risk being ill understood? It occurred to me to say nothing today, to let silence further unsay Levinas' unsaying, as if that were still vital to me (which it still is today though it's intrigued me on many previous occasions). But the quotation would have been a ceremony even without explicit comment. The reading of Levinas has commenced! Sound your funky horn! The reading of Levinas has commenced! I protest against the solemnity of a silence. I attempt to unsay its pregnancy of unsayings with an abundance of arrival, and so to reiterate the unsaid profusely. I leave these words.