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Thea Potter

Published On


Page Range

pp. 45-78

Print Length

33 pages

2. Does the Letter Matter?

  • Thea Potter (author)
Chapter Two (‘Does the Letter Matter?’), taking the definition ‘boundary, landmark[…]pillar (whether inscribed or not)’ as its starting point, returns to the earliest examples of the horos in the archaeological record. Here I confront the Derridean problem of writing as origin. Even if the stone was not marked with the word for boundary (horos), it does not cease to be a boundary because it was nonetheless read as a boundary. Therefore, I turn to the lexicons to discover how the Greeks themselves defined the horos. The result is twofold, like the boundary; a definition of the word must accept the horos as the boundary of writing and reading. It is always inferred in any act of reading because there must be something, whether the inscribed word or the natural rock, for us to read. Horos proliferates from the rock into our definitions of what words mean, and it always remains as the solid foundation of these works of ‘definition.’ It is the difference and bond that is co-terminal with language as such but does not for all that lose its base materiality as stone.


Thea Potter