From: nologos@xxxxxxxxxxxx (Sam Vagenas)
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 1995 11:39:29 -0700
Erik Lindberg writes:
>Sam, I agree with you here, and am especially interested in the idea of
>anti-story, and whether it is indeed possible. To write an anti-story is
>to write a kind of pure critique (from emaculate conception to conceptual
>emaculateness). I also think you are right that the story that
>deconstruction implies (history of a series of decenterings) is largely
>fabricated by his popularizers (I agree, Norris can at times be the
>worst). But Derrida did suggest this history in "Structure, Sign, and
>Play." And even if he did later disavow the pseudo-story that is
>suggested there, I am wondering whether Derridean deconstruction can do
>without an undergirding story (even a disavowed one). As I think about
>it, Of Grammatology also reads like a story--sometimes serious, sometimes
>mocking its own form--of the return of the repressed. I would like to
>know what others think.
>Finally, to tie in with another thread (or a strand within this one?) is
>it possible, still, to write a critical account that is not based on some
>sort of "repressive hypothesis"?
I am writing a paper on Foucault's and Nietzsche's genealogical approach --
a genealogy of genealogy. I think the problematic that caused the
constitution of this approach is the same as for deconstruction -- the dying
(but not death) of metaphysics and the Platonic logos. I would say that
even though both are writing counter-histories or what I call substitute
stories, that Foucault's approach is much more methodical than Nietzsche's.
This, I believe, is because he was still moving out of his early discourse
phase and because the Nietzschean high drama is not persuasive in wake of
the sciences when Foucault writes his genealogy. Despite his caveat,
Nietzsche's genealogy is not grey, Focault's is.
However, if you really get critical, there is probably now way outside of a
story. You just get the feel with someone like Derrida that if he were to
read the text again he would write a very different article. There is both
a rigorous and playful feel to deconstructive readings, but no one with such
premises can defend a "pure" critique. Ultimately, there is no outside of
metaphysics (Derrida acknowledges this). I like Vattimo's work in this
area. We cannot overcome modernity, but post-modernity can create an
I recently saw a fairly new video called Suture. The story is much like the
movie Shattered with there is a mistaken identity due to an accident.
However, this story is of two brothers -- one black and the other white.
The brothers look extremely different in all features (putting aside race).
However, the other people in the movie pretend as if the two are identical,
even though they are obviously different. The whole movie I had an
unsettling feeling that "hey, these two guy are different can't you see." I
don't know what the off-beat movie's producers are trying to make a
statement about differance. It may be just some neo-liberal statement on
race. However, as I watched the movie and felt the uncomfortableness -- the
lack of closure, I was reminded how firmly entrenched indentity is even in
those who attempt to transcend it.