Thursday, March 28, 2013

Deconstructing Jacques

Jacques Derrida, who I'm not smart enough to read yet, was an interesting guy. My favorite thing about this review of Derrida: A Biography by BenoƮt Peeters, however, is its wonderful explanation of one of the key tenants of deconstructionism, exclusion:

Through a series of deft and delicate maneuvers, Derrida sought to show that speech is inextricable from writing, no more or less authentic. The difference between the two depends, as all differences do, on a process of enforced absence or repression: a is a only because it is not b, and thus b is never entirely out of the picture. With the tenacity of a gumshoe, he haunted texts by Plato, Rousseau, Saussure, Levi-Strauss, Marx, and Hegel, among dozens of others, exposing the ways in which the subjugated or banished half of a crucial pair—inside/outside, man/woman, reason/madness, signifier/signified—continued to plague its partner.
The rest of the article is well worth reading. Check it out here.

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