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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: June ::
Re: Deconstruction
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1184  Friday, 13 June 2003

[1]     From:   Tom Bishop <
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        Date:   Thursday, 12 Jun 2003 12:02:53 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1170 Re: Deconstruction (and New Criticism)

[2]     From:   M. Luskin <
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        Date:   Thursday, 12 Jun 2003 12:06:31 EDT
        Subj:   Deconstruction and Existentialism, and Grebanier

[3]     From:   D Bloom <
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        Date:   Thursday, 12 Jun 2003 11:52:37 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1170 Re: Deconstruction

[4]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Thursday, 12 Jun 2003 15:53:51 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1170 Re: Deconstruction

[5]     From:   Sam Small <
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        Date:   Thursday, 12 Jun 2003 21:47:36 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1170 Re: Deconstruction

[6]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Thursday, 12 Jun 2003 19:49:12 -0300
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1170 Re: Deconstruction


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Tom Bishop <
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Date:           Thursday, 12 Jun 2003 12:02:53 -0500
Subject: 14.1170 Re: Deconstruction (and New Criticism)
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1170 Re: Deconstruction (and New Criticism)

A brief, historical comment on the politics of the poor old New
Criticism.  I once had the good fortune to have a longish conversation
with Cleanth Brroks, and I asked him how he saw his own work in relation
to political issues. He replied in part that the methods of close
reading that he had developed and that later came to be called "New
Critical" had their origins in teaching mostly dirt-poor students in
Louisiana in the 30s how to become more sophisticated readers so that
"they wouldn't be fooled by those trying to put something over on them",
and that that was, as far as he was concerned, still the most pressing
motive for a teacher of literature at that time (mid 80s). I suspect
many people who might disagree with Brooks on other matters would
endorse that view quite strongly.

Tom

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           M. Luskin <
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Date:           Thursday, 12 Jun 2003 12:06:31 EDT
Subject:        Deconstruction and Existentialism, and Grebanier

I thought that I was mailing a simple request for basic definitions of
deconstructionism and existentialism.  I find I have triggered an
unintended blizzard of complex discussion, and want to drop off the face
of the earth because of it.  Does that mean I understand both?

There is not a used copy of Grebanier to be found, the book is wait
listed, though there were many for sale at the outset of the sanity
discussion, demonstrating the economic power of this list.  If each of
us were to spend the odd few hundred million, we could buy our way out
of the economic slowdown.

mbl

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           D Bloom <
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Date:           Thursday, 12 Jun 2003 11:52:37 -0500
Subject: 14.1170 Re: Deconstruction
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1170 Re: Deconstruction

Both rejoinders to my posting on GE's deconstruction of Sonnet 73 (one
by Martin Steward and the other by Terence Hawkes) assumed that I was
suggesting that deconstructive criticism is no different in theory from
New Criticism. Actually, I was referring to the particular application.
Theoretically, the two systems are far apart -- perhaps, as Hawkes says,
diametrically opposed in that one is politicizing and the other
depoliticizing (which strikes me as an oxymoron) -- but I don't care
much for theory, only for learning what other people find in literary
works (if the term applies) that interest me.

Thus my question: how does his analysis (if that word applies to
deconstructive efforts) differ materially in the insights that it offers
from one written 50 or 60 years ago except in the use of the terminology
of deconstruction?

To be as clear as possible: I don't say that it doesn't differ. I'm only
saying that I don't see much difference.

Cheers,
don

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Thursday, 12 Jun 2003 15:53:51 -0400
Subject: 14.1170 Re: Deconstruction
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1170 Re: Deconstruction

Martin Steward wrote:

>You couldn't teach deconstruction to "gifted teenagers", as it would involve deconstructing the >pernicious binarism that defines some
>teenagers as "gifted" and others as "not gifted".

Does deconstruction deny empirical reality as well as textual
significance?  Or is it just Mr. Steward who has trouble making
distinctions?

By the way, does Derrida give the same grade to all his students, or
does he reward those who seem to understand his theories according to
his notions rather than their own?

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sam Small <
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Date:           Thursday, 12 Jun 2003 21:47:36 +0100
Subject: 14.1170 Re: Deconstruction
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1170 Re: Deconstruction

I ask the mighty Mr Egan - what is the difference between the
deconstruction of sonnet 73 and knowing what sonnet 73 is all about?

SAM SMALL
http://www.passioninpieces.co.uk

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Thursday, 12 Jun 2003 19:49:12 -0300
Subject: 14.1170 Re: Deconstruction
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1170 Re: Deconstruction

Terence Hawkes writes

>The New Critics tended to admire ambiguity as something capable of
>enriching language, its decorous deployment a sign of the wit and poise
>of a superior sensibility.  Deconstruction, on the other hand,
>scrupulously pushes ambiguity to its furthest limits, seeing in it a
>crucial manifestation of the undecideable, contradictory,
>self-undermining nature of language at large. Viewed from that
>perspective, New Criticism now looks like a doomed chasing after
>permanency. It sounds like a kind of whistling in the dark.  Very
>familiar, I'd say.

Not to mention comforting.  If plunged into darkness, I think I'd rather
have the company of people who know how to whistle.  For one thing, we
could orient ourselves by the sound of each other's notes, so the
darkness would lose some of its mystery.  Hearing each other, we might
even enter into dialogue and start a community.  Whistling would seem
enormously more enjoyable and practical than either cursing or
worshipping the gloom.

Yours off-key,
Sean.

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