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.
Derrida, in _Specters of Marx_, curiously references "what is called
deconstruction, presumably to indicate that the name 'deconstruction' is not
necessarily coterminous with his work. Derrida _did_ coin this word as a
shorthand, referring to that subtle activity of reading which attempts to
both identify what has been covered over in the process of construction a text _qua_ text and then reinscribing that which was deprivleged _as_ what must
necessarily come _before_ the supposedly operative loci of a text. It is a
Nietzschean endeavor, seeking to locate the positivity of any given statement
in its opposite which must necessarily be excluded, made invisible, for said
statement to stand as such.

This painstaking activity is not irreducible to the term "deconstruction";
what is involved here is not an ideology that can be paraded. Of course,
labels only stick by virtue of their flag-waving potential. But to say
the "deconstruction never existed" is hyberbole and hence does not get us
anywhere philosophically.>
> >
> >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.
> Did I miss something? Just what do you mean when you say that "the text is
outside of itself?" I would like to see you defend this clain with a minimum
of jargon, if you would be so king as to oblidge.

david pekerow


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