Post-structuralism does not exist

Ok, so maybe this is just a wee bit too emphatic. In some sense it has
to exist if evinced by nothing else than the recurrent thematic on this
list, as well as in the broader realm of the academic theory industry.
But does such an invokation actually say anything? As a pedagogical tool
it certainly has a specific function in that it allows for the grouping
of a set of writers so as to distinguish them from their own past.
Unfortunatly things very rarely seem to stop at this introductory gesture
and 'post-structuralism' is taken as providing a meaningful unity not
only in relation to the past but also in relation to a necessary future
outcome. Now I'd be willing to say that there's a certain stylistic
affinity between say Foucault, Derrida, and Deleuze and Guattari, but
from this could it then be said that they share a common project, replete
with the teleological implications that the term 'project' implies? Ahh,
but the maybe 'post-structuralism' does imply the type of unity which I
would deny it precisely because those who are called 'post-structurlists'
seem to share a common loathing for the teleological. But even here I'm
lead to ask: does post-structucturalism really mean anything? That is,
how is the meaning of the 'post-' construed? Is there something
significant between following structuralism and the assault on
teleological narratives, and, for that matter, do any of the
'post-structuralists' actually _follow_ the structuralists? Foucault
would seem to answer this in the negative, both for himself and for
some others who are all too easily thrown into the 'post-structuralist'
camp: "I read Nietzsche because of Bataille and I read Bataille
because of Blanchot. It's not true at all that Nietzsche first
appeared in French philosophy in the 1970's. At first his influence
appeared in the discourse of people who were marxists in the 1960's and
left Marxism as a result of Nietzsche. But those who first reached back
to Nietzsche didn't want to leave Marxism. They were not Marxists. They
wanted to leave phenomenology."

Or,on a slightly different tack, is 'post-structuralism' invoked according to
what might be called a reductive will-to-categorize in an attempt to
counter-attack the assault on teleology? Unfortunatly it doesn't seem to go
this way, but there is another possibility,a nd this would be to follow
Lyotard, as well as Nietzsche, Klossowski and Kofman, down the road of
anamnesis, the remembrance that forgets. Lyotard describes the 'post-' in
the following manner: "[T]he 'post-' of 'postmodern' does not signify a
movement of _comeback_, _flashbak_, or _feedback_, that is, not a movement of
repetition but a procedure in 'ana-': a procedure of analysis, anamnesis,
anagogy, and anamorphosis that elaborates an 'initial forgetting.'"

Its time to forget the phantasy that the 'post-' in some way conforms to
a logicl linear progression, its time to forget the teleology of the
project and take up the program, as Deleuze and Guattari would have it.
That is, its time to say fuck all to the idealist phantasy wherein
answers are found pre-given before the questions themselves are even

This is, if you will, my manifesto for reading. Now you might say that a
manifesto is an all too modern genre to occure here in the rarefied
atmosphere where the 'post-' still attempts to reign. However, this is
only a problem if modernity is thought as a specific historical period,
and on this point I have to follow Foucault and say that modernity is not
so much an historical period as it is a mode of relation to the present.



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