Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: June ::
Re: Deconstruction
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1196  Monday, 16 June 2003

[1]     From:   Kezia Vanmeter Sproat <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Friday, 13 Jun 2003 10:49:43 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1184 Re: Deconstruction

[2]     From:   Gabriel Egan <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Saturday, 14 Jun 2003 11:37:45 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.1184 Re: Deconstruction


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kezia Vanmeter Sproat <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Friday, 13 Jun 2003 10:49:43 EDT
Subject: 14.1184 Re: Deconstruction
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1184 Re: Deconstruction

>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?

Please, sir, be not dismayed, but congratulate yourself! IMO, such
discussions are the meat and drink of this list! Thanks for that
question!

Kezia Vanmeter Sproat

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Gabriel Egan <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Saturday, 14 Jun 2003 11:37:45 +0100
Subject: 14.1184 Re: Deconstruction
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1184 Re: Deconstruction

On the matter of whether Deconstruction is like New Criticism, I'm glad
to hear from Tom Bishop that Cleanth Brooks's motives were progressive.

For our purposes, Deconstruction is a reaction to structuralism that has
philosophical implications and whether these are progressive or
conservative can be jolly hard to agree upon. That there is a problem at
the heart of the Saussurian sign, as Derrida showed in _Of Grammatology_
(1967, trans. 1976), must have seemed scarcely relevant to anyone who'd
abandoned Saussure's model of language in the 1950s, as many linguists
did.

The rise of New Criticism is closely connected with the rise of English
as a subject, especially as small rural universities proliferated in
America. One should be careful not to blame New Criticism for political
and social changes that it became part of. After all, Deconstruction and
the wider postmodernism that it is often placed within are eminently
usable for conservative ends. To justify my claim that Deconstruction
can be likened to New Criticism, I offer the following:

>The poem is not the critic's own and not the author's
>(it is detached from the author at birth and goes about the
>world beyond his power to intend about it or control it).
>The poem belongs to the public. It is embodied in language,
>the peculiar possession of the public, and it is about the
>human being, an object of public knowledge. What is
>said about the poem is subject to the same scrutiny as
>any statement in linguistics or in the general science of
>psychology or morals.

>(W. K. Wimsatt and M. C. Beardsley "The intentional fallacy"
>Sewanee Review 54 (1946) p. 470)

I suggest that this is not obviously distinct from Roland Barthes's
'death of the author', dead in the sense of no longer an authority over
the work, nor from Derrida's claim that 'there is nothing outside the
text' ("Il n'y a pas de hors-texte") because it is woven into the public
discourse by being made of words and ideas from which it cannot stand
apart.

Gabriel Egan

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, 
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the
opinions expressed on it are the sole property of the poster, and the
editor assumes no responsibility for them.
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.