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Copy of post-struc.tur.al.ism
Transcript of Copy of post-struc.tur.al.ism
"I have no simple and formalisable response to this question. All my essays are attempts to have it out with this formidable question". (Jacques Derrida)
"Whenever deconstruction finds a nutshell—a secure axiom or a pithy maxim—the very idea is to crack it open and disturb this tranquility. Indeed, that is a good rule of thumb in deconstruction. That is what deconstruction is all about, its very meaning and mission, if it has any. One might even say that cracking nutshells is what deconstruction is." (John D. Caputo)
Şefika Meral Kançeltik
Salehattin Samet Demir
The Death of the Author
by Roland Barthes
The Philosophy Behind It All
derives from philosophy
"[They] know for certain they cannot know anything for certain" (Barry).
"the fragmented self"
in our day-to-day experiences
"Aren't most of us very different people on the job, at the store? Doesn't [our] experiences change [...] as we encounter different people or as various thoughts, memories and emotions occur? In fact, don't we sometimes have the feeling that we don't know who we really are, especially when we compare ourselves to other people?" (Tyson, 258).
no center of
reality as a text
the world as a construction of language
language as a
"Language refers neither to things in the world nor to our concepts of things but only to the play of signifiers of which language itself consists" (Tyson, 252).
what they do:
postponement of meaning
read the text against itself
disunity throughout texts
A text has more than one meaning; thus an interpretive reading cannot go beyond one certain point - APORIA
underline how a meaning can shift
*"the liberation of the reader from the tyranny of the author"»
*Independence of the literary text
*"The work is not determined by intention or context
*"to give a text an author is to impose a limit on that text"»
* "scriptor"» «"author"»
*«"The text is a fabric of quotations, resulting from a thousand sources of culture."»
*"The birth of the reader must be at cost of the death of the author."»
How can we detect precisely what the writer intended?
- We cannot.
«"writing is the destruction of every voice, of every point of origin"
sign= signifier + signified + signified+ signified+ ...
différance: "to defer" "to differ"
1) its play of signifiers continually defers, or postpones, meaning
2) the meaning it seems to have is the result of differences by which we distinguish one signifier from another
*Method of deconstruction
*«"must always aim at a certain relationship, unperceived by the writer, between what he commands and what he does not command of the patterns of language that he uses… [It] attempts to make the not-seen accessible to sight."»
*Verbal stage: contradictory and paradoxical phrases are identified
*Textual stage: shifts or breaks in the continuity of the text are identified
*Linguistic stage: moments of the text when adequacy of language itself as a medium of communication are examined
Time flies like an arrow = Time passes quickly
Language is much more slippery than we realize:
(noun) (verb) (adv. clause)
Time flies like an arrow = Time flies are fond of arrows.
(noun) (verb) (obj.)
Time flies like an arrow =
Get out your stopwatch and time the speed of flies as you'd time an arrows's flight
How To Apply Deconstruction
1. Verbal Stage
2. Textual Stage
3. Linguistic Stage
«A refusal to mourn the death, by fire, of a child in London»
Never until the mankind making
Bird beast and flower
Fathering and all humbling darkness
Tells with silence the last light breaking
And the still hour
Is come of the sea tumbling in harness
And I must enter again the round
Zion of the water bead
And the synagogue of the ear of corn
Shall I let pray the shadow of a sound
Or sow my salt seed
In the least valley of sackcloth to mourn
The majesty and burning of the child’s death.
I shall not murder
The mankind of her going with a grave truth
Nor blaspheme down the stations of the breath
With any further
Elegy of innocence and youth.
Deep with the first dead lies London’s daughter,
Robed in the long friends,
The grains beyond age, the dark veins of her mother,
Secret by the unmourning water
Of the riding Thames.
After the first death, there is no other.
1. Verbal Stage
«After the first death there is no other»
Expectation: there will be others.
Main clause - subclause
Reversing the binary oppositions
«the mankind making
Bird beast and flower
Fathering and all humbling darkness»
THE FIRST STEP OF READING THE TEXT AGAINST ITSELF
Time shifts and changes in viewpoint, not a smooth chronological progression.
Passing of geological aeons and the coming of the ‘end of the world’
«last light breaking»
«sea tumbling in harness»
«all humbling darkness»
«The majesty and burning of the child’s death.»
The final stanza
Historical progression of the recorded history of London
It is very diffucult to ground meaning because of these shifts.
Whether the poet tells us why he refuses to mourn, or rather,
why the expressed intention of not doing so is not carried out.
3. Linguistic Stage
Inadequacy of language
The whole poem does what it says it will not do.
Refusal to mourn & Mourning
«I shall not murder
The mankind of her going with a grave truth»
«Deep with the first dead lies London’s daughter»
The Importance of Post structuralism and Deconstruction
Breaking all the former rules: a kind of rebellion
(decentre, finding contradictions and inconsistency in the texts)
«It constitutes for many a radically new way of seeing and knowing the world»
Barbara Johnson and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak bring Deconstruction into Feminism, Psychoanalysis and the critique of gender and racial difference.
Derrida’s ideas are part of the foundation of contemporary theories of sexuality, gender, race, history and culture.
(verb) (obj.) (adv. clause)
that my friend found...
in his backyard...
was black and white.
A dog is not a horse
or a seahorse
or a cat
or a sloth.
logocentrism: refers to any system of thought which is founded on the stability and authority of the Logos, the divine Word
good X evil
reason X emotion
masculine X feminine
civilized X primitive
"transcendental signifieds" or absolute authority, which places them beyond questioning or examination.
* no concept is beyond the dynamic instability of language, which disseminates an infinite number of possible meanings with each written or spoken utterance.
*For deconstruction, language is the ground of being, but that ground is not out of play: it is itself as dynamic, evolving, problematical, and ideologically saturated as the worldviews it produces. For this reason, there is no center to our understanding of existence.
*Derrida decentered Western philosophy
"there is nothing outside of the text"
Phonocentrism: is the belief that sounds and speech are superior to written language.
writing is the secondary representation of thought
speech is the first and real representation of thought
Views and contributions of the most important
representatives of Post-Structuralism
Roland Barthes & Jacques Derrida
plurality of meaning
one correct meaning
an approach to literature that, proceeding from the tenets of structuralism, maintains that, as words have no absolute meaning, any text is open to an unlimited range of interpretations.
(Collins English Dictionary)
"Post Structuralism terimi yalnızca zaman bakımından yapısalcılıgı izleyen bir döneme işaret etmez, aynı zamanda yapısalcılıgı aşma anlamı da taşır. Bundan ötürü Türkçe karşılık olarak, genellikle yapıldıgı gibi "yapısalcılık-sonrası" terimini degil de"yapısalcılık ötesi" terimini kullanmak daha dogru olacak sanırım." (199)
What is Deconstruction?
“Deconstruction begins, as it were, from a refusal of the authority or determining power of every ‘is’, or simply from a refusal of authority in general. (Niall Lucy)
Demolish: shut down/ disconnect utilities, smash everything down, haul off to the dump
Deconstruction = Carefully deconstructing the building to salvage as many of the reusable materials as possible
Structuralism VS Post-Structuralism
The function of language
Linguistic vs Philosophy
The fundamental aims
The Structuralist Seeks:
To show textual unity and coherence.
The Post-Structuralist Seeks:
Shifts/Breaks in: tone, viewpoint, tense, time, person, attitude
To show textual disunity.
From Structuralism to Post-Structuralism
“The Death of the Author”
The independence of the literary text
Text is produced by the language itself
"There is no getting beyond language, beyond the play of signifiers, because we exist - we think, we see, we feel - within the language into which we were born. How we see and understand ourselves and the world is thus governed by the language with which we are thought to see them. That is, language mediates our experience of ourselves and the world. And for deconstruction, language is wholly ideological: it consists entirely of the numerous conflicting, dynamic ideologies - or systems or beliefs or values - operating at any given point in time in any given culture" (Tyson, 253).
*Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida
Beginning Theory; An Introduction to Literary and Cultural Theory
. Manchester: Manchester UP, 1995.
Bennett, Andrew and Royle, Nicholas.
An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory.
London: Pearson Education, 2004.
The Blackwell Guide to Literary Theory
. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2007.
Edebiyat Kuramları ve Eleştiri
. Istanbul: Iletişim Yayınları, 2012.
The Theory of Criticism from Plato to the Present: A Reader
. London: Longman, 1988.
Critical Theory Today: A User Friendly Guide.
Routledge: New York, 2006.
WORKS CITED / CONSULTED