from The Rustle of Language. Trans. Richard Howard. NY: FSG, 1986. 141-48.
The irreducible residues of functional analysis have this in common: they denote what is ordinarily called "concrete reality" (insignificant gestures, transitory attitudes, insignificant attitudes, redundant words). The pure and simple "representation" of the "real," the naked relation of "what is" (or has been) thus appears as a resistance to meaning; this resistance confirms the great mythic opposition of the true-to-life (the lifelike) and the intelligible.
Todorov, Tzvetan. The Conquest of America: The Question of the Other. Translated from the French by Richard Howard. NY: Harper & Row, 1984. (Editions du Seuil, 1982).