Re: deconstruction v. genealogy

>I'm not sure "there is" deconstruction in the first place. I find that the
>designation constitutes a typical capitalization by which a somewhat neutral
>movement/conceptual operation is overburdened with having to operate as a
>banner and summary label for a variety of practices, institutional tendencies,
>social movements, researches, etc. I'm sick of it, to tell the truth. For me,
>"deconstruction" is any movement of decomposition as opposed to violent
>rupture (destruction), and I'm as willing to count cognitive psychology
>protocols of skill decomposition in expert performaces as "deconstruction" as
>I am to consider the "traditional" (!) textual strategies bearing/burdening
>the name.

If you want a good laugh, read David Lehman's _Sign of the Times_. The
first two chapters show how everyone from sportswriters to self-help
columnists use "deconstruction."

>When it comes to "text only" I confess that I have never, ever understood what
>was meant by "there is nothing outside the text". On the other hand, as a
>play/formation/thing of signs, which themselves constitute the
>signifier/signified relation (and add to this sign business the whole play of
>performative linguistics, etc., which may not fit in sign theory), we'd have
>to say that perhaps nothing is "outside the text" because the text is already
>outside of itself in any number of ways. I think it is possible that the move
>being guarded against by this gesture is that of a certain "coup" on
>understanding which (violently, in a certain way) disrupts the epistemological
>commitments of the already underway textual reading in a kind of deus ex
>machina (sp?) or something, where as given the *signifieds* in the first
>place, that move is just a desperate attempt to return to "reality". But if
>that is the case, then, again, the whole play of institutions, language, etc.,
>can not be escaped.

There is obviously a different approach in Derrida and de Man than Foucault
and Baudrillard. The former spend time analyzing in far greater depth the
text than the latter whose interest in institution, power, and cultural
practices take the far afield from the text.


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