Posted by: Rajesh Shukla | August 10, 2010

Derrida reduces world into text

Derrida is very hard to read. Why doesn’t he write more simply? Doesn’t he want to communicate?
A. There are three reasons why we have difficulty reading Derrida. The first is that he is a (Continental) philosopher, with a range of reference that is not widely available outside that tradition. Many of his more impenetrable remarks turn out to be allusions to Plato, Hegel, or Heidegger, and not obscure at all to people who have those writers at their fingertips, in a way most of us don’t. Second, he is very meticulous. What can seem repetitive and precious comes from a desire to be precise. But third, it is also important from the point of view of the case against logocentrism to demonstrate in practice that language is not transparent, not a pane of glass through which ideas are perceptible in their pure intelligibility. (On the other hand, the same mannerisms reproduced in the writings of his less gifted disciples can be very irritating indeed!)

—Catherine Belsey, Poststructuralism: A Very Short Introduction

The very condition of a deconstruction may be at work in the work, within the system to be deconstructed. It may already be located there, already at work. Not at the center, but in an eccentric center, in a corner whose eccentricity assures the solid concentration of the system, participating in the construction of what it, at the same time, threatens to deconstruct. One might then be inclined to reach this conclusion: deconstruction is not an operation that supervenes afterwards, from the outside, one fine day. It is always already at work in the work. Since the destructive force of Deconstruction is always already contained within the very architecture of the work, all one would finally have to do to be able to deconstruct, given this always already, is to do memory work. Yet since I want neither to accept nor to reject a conclusion formulated in precisely these terms, let us leave this question suspended for the moment.’


BUT you watch this new conversation between a Derridian and a student pursuing his philosophy course on Derrida. Is Derrida promoting language and the normal reading of the world text over other possibilities? Well, no.


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