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WEEK 11: Deconstruction
12 November

What? Huh? Whassahuhdawha? Calm yourselves. Relax. Float downstream.

That is not what I meant at all, not at all.

"The home of Piaf and Charles Aznavour
Must have done something right, and'll do it once more
Cause if you don't think Paris was made for love
Give Paris one more chance." --J. Richman

Consider also that if meaning is deferred, the claim that meaning is deferred is technically meaningless, since for the claim to mean sui generis, that claim would contradict the method of deconstruction the claim itself attempts to shore up. The claim that meaning is deferred is meaningful only within an opposition which either prioritizes logically self-evident meanings or prioritizes contingent meaning. All claims which implicitly set contingent and self-evident meaning in opposition are themselves subject to deconstruction, since the two-fold contingency of différance depends for its deferred meanng upon a contradictory or contrary set of claims. The impossible alternative to this apparent aporia sits in opposition to the possible, and both the possible and the impossible are, insofar as they govern and are governed by deferred meaning, themselves subject to deconstruction. Apparently, it really is turtles all the way down. Or are we allowing a slippery slope fallacy to bring us to the brink of semantic entropy? A kind of meaning-death of language? Perhaps the method of deconstruction is only possible in an environment which presumes Platonic absolutes, unmixed, heterogeneous, and perfectly diverse.

Thus, any symptom of corruption, of the impurity of a claim, signals its compromise. In the muddy, corrupt, sublunar realm, all truth-claims are impure, all language contingent, and all meaning deferred. But what of probability? Optimality? Liklihood? How do we account for these methods in a system that limits our choices to contraries and contradictions? Are we compelled by the logic of Platonism to advance the possibility of pure knowledge and uncorrupted perception? What is it we are asking for?


1) McQuillan, "Introduction" in Deconstruction: A Reader (Routledge, 2001), pp. 1-43.

2) Marx in McQuillan, pp. 47-50; Heidegger in McQuillan, pp. 71-79; Jabes in McQuillan, pp. 80-87.

3) Derrida in McQuillan, pp. 97-106.

4) Hillis Miller in McQuillan, pp. 161-170.

5) Paul de Man in McQuillan, pp. 171-74.

6) Derek Attridge in McQuillan, pp. 175-77.

7) Royle in McQuilla, pp. 178-89.

8) Caputo in McQuillan, pp. 458-63.

9) The Onion

Kinski on a river searching for ...