Re: deconstruction v. genealogy

David Pekerow wrote:

"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 claim with a minimum
of jargon, if you would be so kind as to oblige."

--- First, I don't meant to say that "deconstruction never
existed", though it seems worthwhile to frame a question
about whether deconstruction can *exist* per se or whether
it has another kind of Being or nonbeing. I'm thinking here
of Derrida's manner of situating himself with regards to
other texts, his insistence that he does *readings* of other
texts as opposed to forwarding treatises, etc. I'm already
guilty of overextending "deconstruction" as per my own
criticism, but to bring this question into relief: it's a
question about what kind of being that
operation/procedure/strategy/method has when it is working
in various ways to undermine presence, presentation, the
etablishment of a given order of beings, etc. I'm
associating this sense for deconstruction with *differance*,
which probably can't be said to *be* in any simple way, as
it constitutes, I think, a play of deferral/difference, and
is, we are told, neither a word nor a concept. If we take
deconstruction as a kind of broader conglomeration of plays
of differance, or the bringing to appear such an underlying
condition as against the pretentions of the text, then
deconstruction would have an uneasy kind of "being", to say
the least. But, if I were pushed in certain ways, I'd say,
"ok, there is deconstruction".

As for the latter question, in which you ask me to be so
"king as to oblidge" in supporting my "clain" :-) that the
text is already outside of itself, and without jargon, no
less: well, I've never read this kind of claim anywhere,
though perhaps it's been made. But, as I pointed out in my
previous post, I don't know what "there is nothing outside
the text" means. But I do know that the text itself
constitutes an in-the-world play of relations. The signfieds
of a text are themselves "in the world". A book on Watergate
constitutes a referential system including what is called
Watergate, and when one is "in the book" one is referencing
that place known as Watergate (the *real* Watergate). So
when one tries to get "outside the text", it seems to me,
part of what is happening is that one is sometimes creating
a certain illusion of a return to a pristine *reality*, the
*real* Watergate, etc., but this whole play of "external
reference" is itself, or can itself be, part of the
encounter with Watergate that is involved in reading the
text. To say that the text is "already outside of itself" is
to say that the text is in the world and of the world. That,
if you like, the text is the text of being as the clouds are
the clouds of the sky, to paraphrase Heidegger. Perhaps this
is wrong or perhaps I'm not saying it well. I often tend to
want to avoid a certain range of terms which often seize,
via a certain stratum of presence, of readiness to hand,
utility, functionality, etc., something to lay ahold of: in
this case, "text" *as such*, as opposed to talking about
Watergate, the writer, various things, for example. Or, to
give another example: talking as such, as opposed to
"dealing with a problem or issue", for example. I often get
the feeling that the seizure of this "materiality", this
thingly aspect of the text *qua* text, is a kind of
desubstantialization which can be likened to trying to
determine the outcome of a short story by doing analyses of
the wood pulp and ink in the paper on which the story is

Which is not to say that one would then be thrown into a
relentless tyranny of the text, or, on the other hand, it is
to say that one is thrown more surely into the possibility
of such a tyranny. It would tend to necessitate the "good
faith" (if you will) of deconstruction (so to speak) all the
more as it would activate the text's system and break off
from the illusion of the "outside the text". Perhaps
"deconstruction" obtains its truest substance precisely when
the possibility of tyranny is more fully activated.

Well, if it's jargon, its somewhat self-fashioned here and
I'm just thinking about this stuff. Do not consider this a
dissertation. I think there is a lot to idea that the text
is already outside of itself, but I don't think I'm doing a
good job of explaining it.

There is no path to peace. Peace is the path.

Tom Blancato
Eyes on Violence (nonviolence and human rights monitoring in Haiti)
Thoughtaction Collective (reparative justice project)


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