Friday, 19 December, 2014

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Beyond Deconstruction

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Deconstruction is usually and rightly linked to the philosophical and literary writings of Jacques Derrida and Paul de Man. These writings have come under sharp attack in recent years. I would refer you, for example, to David Lehman's discussion of Paul de Man. Deconstruction, it is argued, stands outside of reason and affirms only an endless, undisciplined, even wild freedom of commentary. Now there is much to be said for this assessment of deconstruction. Geoffrey Hartman's Criticism in the Wilderness is a good indication (I think) of just how arbitrary deconstruction can be. Here, at the extreme point of interpretation, the critic is certain of himself alone and so determined to undermine every specific claim to truth which a text may make.




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Deconstruction is usually and rightly linked to the philosophical and literary writings of Jacques Derrida and Paul de Man.

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