It is not a question of examining scripture to read in it the relationship of figures to their fulfillment. One must annihilate oneself and also annihilate one’s claim to be an interpreter of scripture, to let its truth come in the form, even if absurd, of wounding one’s body. Scripture is proven through the sacrifice of a body to the word of life. But this sacrifice of a body is also what reduces all writing to the pure insane materiality of the written mark. In fact it is within the framework of this theology that the practice of copying manuscripts was introduced into monastic life. Before it was an act of transmitting treasures of ancient culture, the work of copying was first a pure labor of mortification. The labor of copying, like basket weaving, is supposed to occupy the monk, to take him away from the danger of acedia, from that vacant spirituality that falls back into bodily sloth. Originally the content of what was copied had no importance. The copy, even if it was of a testamentary text, enters the exercises of the absurd by which bodies are bent to obedience to the divine word.
— Jacques Rancière, The Flesh of Words: The Politics of Writing, trans. Charlotte Mandell (Stanford: Stanford University Press), 2004, p. 85.