注册 登录  
 加关注
   显示下一条  |  关闭
温馨提示!由于新浪微博认证机制调整,您的新浪微博帐号绑定已过期,请重新绑定!立即重新绑定新浪微博》  |  关闭

张在新

John Zaixin Zhang

 
 
 

日志

 
 

Deconstruction  

2010-05-11 22:44:36|  分类: 后结构理论 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |

Zhang, John Zaixin. Notes on Deconstruction

[My comments in red ink]

 

Which is originary, sin or law?

 [Sin/desire already residing in the possibility of the law forbidding it]

 “The law, as we have seen, is itself desirous; it was through the law, in the shape of the originary prohibition, that desire came into the world” (Eagleton, Ideology 273).

 

References:

Butler, Christopher. Interpretation, Deconstruction, and Ideology: An Introduction to Some Current Issues in Literary Theory.

Culler, Jonathan. On Deconstruction: Theory and Criticism after Structuralism.

Holdcroft, David. Saussure: Signs, System, and Arbitrariness

Leitch, Vincent B. Deconstructive Criticism: An Advanced Introduction.

 

“Supplementarity”

Leitch, Culler

l  blissful state of nature - a need or desire for community - from nature into society

l  an addition to the original happy state of nature

l  culture supplements nature

l  culture as a supplement in two ways: it adds on and it substitutes

l  original unsupplemented (unmediated, uncontaminated) nature only a myth

l  an undecidable concept (the supplement) throughout the text of Rousseau

l  to deconstruct nature and culture

l  Derrida’s strategy of crossing out but keeping a word--of putting it under erasure: nature

l  self-sufficient nature needs and drags in culture, and the original and the supplement are in each other

l  natural man/education (aids the insufficiencies of the untrained intellect)

l  normal sex/masturbation (assists people in compensating for lack - both depend on an imagined sexual object, on an unconsummated desire)

l  speech/writing (makes up for the limitations of speech – both require the possibility of articulation, of marking difference – Punch cartoon in Gillian Beer’s lecture: narrative and tale/tail ? Dog “wagging its narrative” – my comment on the meaning of the pun derived from writing, not secondary or addition but a self-sufficient substitute, as “originary” as speech)

l   “In the state of “nature” the supplement has always already started. Nothing is uncontaminated by supplementarity.”

 

Speech/writing

Saussure

l  three types of signs

l  the index - causal: dark clouds mean rain; smoke denotes fire; sobbing signifies sorrow

l  the icon - resemblance: a portrait bust depicts a particular person

l  the symbol (or sign proper) - arbitrary: nodding the head signifies “yes”

l  19th-c linguists - language as a nomenclature – words as labels of independently identifiable things

l  Saussure’s criticism: it assumes that ready-made ideas exist before words.

l  Changes in etymology affect the words used to designate a thing or idea: the Latin calidum ? the French chaud (warm) and the very ideas they express: the Latin crimen (accusation) ? the English crime

l  If nomenclaturism were correct, then only the words should change (the ideas they express should not).

l  Saussure - on the arbitrary signifier and signified – both within a signifying system (a linguistic sign related systematically to other linguistic signs to form a system).

Lacan

     Signifier  S

     signified  s

l  separated by a barrier resisting signification

l  the structural detour of the signifier in its quest for the signified

l  a “sliding signified” and “floating signifier”

     S   Consciousness

     s     Unconscious

l  “The Unconscious is the whole structure of language and its dreamwork follows the laws of the signifier.”

l  Freud’s psychic “distortion” (from the latent content to the manifest content through displacement and condensation) –

l  all signifiers distorted from the start

l  principal aim in Derrida’s Of Grammatology (1967): to put in question the traditional values of sign, word, and writing

l  the logocentric system - the logos, the spoken word - the origin of truth

l  writing - secondary speech, a device to convey the voice, an instrumental substitute for full presence - Even Saussure’s signifier - an “acoustic image”

l  voice - fully present to itself, to its signified

l  binary oppositions: voice/writing, spoken word/written mark, reality/image, signified/signifier, truth/lie, presence/absence

l  logocentric writing conveys the spoken word

l  grammatological or poststructuralist writing or arch-writing designates the primary processes that produce language

l  signifies any practice of differentiation

l  grammatology examines and analyzes writing before and in speech--in texts

l  Levi-Strauss - privileging nature over culture: nature/culture

l  Nambikwara Indians of South America

l  brings out an impulse and longing to escape culture, to return to nature, to flee degradation and violence

l  “The absence of writing and the presence of speech characterize the society of these noble savages.”

l  writing as a late cultural arrival, a supplement to speech, an external instrument

l  arch-writing that opens speech itself: cuts, ruptures [state of being broken], and spaces in nature - instances of primordial differences - omnipresent lines of differentiation

l  “In the forest, the road or track, carved out and inscribed, appears as rupture, as opening, as space, as difference, as writing.”

 

“Différance”

l  différance with three significations:  to differ, to disperse, to defer or postpone

l  différance, différence – “a” unheard - undetected difference shows up only in writing

l  “Classically formulated, the semiological signifier refers to a signified, that is, an acoustic image signifies an ideal concept—both of which are present to consciousness.”

l  “chair” ? the idea chair (The real chair, the referent, is not present.) - an absent presence, delusion, misperception, dream: “There is neither substance nor presence in the sign, but only the play of differences.”

l  “Rather than present the object, we employ the sign. We postpone or defer producing the referent.”

l  différance: the structure of delay and the configuration of difference (between signifier and signified, signified and referent)

l  “The logocentric-phonocentric tradition privileges the spoken self-present word without questioning voice, presence, or sign.”

 

Deconstruction as a Double Writing

Leitch

     “Deconstruction practices two interpretations of interpretation. It aims to decipher the stable truths of a work, employing conventional ‘passive’ tactics of reading; and it seeks to question and subvert such truths in an active production of enigmatic undecidables” (175-6).

 

Culler

     Deconstruction must, Derrida continues, “through a double gesture, a double science, a double writing, put into practice a reversal of the classical opposition and a general displacement of the system” (85-6)

     The principle of causality asserts the logical and temporal priority of cause to effect. But Nietzsche argues in the fragments of The Will to Power, this concept of causal structure is not something given as such but rather the product of a precise tropological or rhetorical operation, a chronological reversal. Suppose one feels a pain. This causes one to look for a cause and spying, perhaps, a pin, one posits a link and reverses the perceptual or phenomenal order, pain…pin, to produce a causal sequence, pin…pain…. The basic fact of ‘inner experience’ is that the cause gets imagined after the effect has occurred.’

     “The deconstruction itself relies on the notion of cause: the experience of pain, it is claimed, causes us to discover the pin and thus causes the production of a cause. To deconstruct causality one must operate with the notion of cause and apply it to causation itself. The deconstruction appeals to no higher logical principle or superior reason but uses the very principle it deconstructs.”

     (1) The classical principle of causality: a pin causes pain (pin as cause, pain as effect).

     (2) Deconstruction based on Nietzsche: Pain as the cause for the discovery of its cause, the pin = pain leading to pin (pain as effect in the classical principle of causality becomes cause).

     “Working within the opposition, the deconstruction upsets the hierarchy by producing an exchange of properties. If the effect is what causes the cause to become a cause, then the effect, not the cause, should be treated as the origin. By showing that the argument which elevates cause can be used to favor effect, one uncovers and undoes the rhetorical operation responsible for the hierarchization and one produces a significant displacement. If either cause or effect can occupy the position of origin, then origin is no longer originary; it loses its metaphysical privilege.”

???

Problematic reasoning:

     But the causal relationship between pain and the process of looking for its cause (the pin) the causal relationship between pain and pin.

     Obviously, pain cannot be the cause of pin. Pin and pain do not occupy the “originary” position in the binary opposition.

     The pin causes pain (Cause/Effect A), which causes one to look for the cause for pain (Cause/Effect B) = two different causal relationships. Cause/Effect B only reconfirms Cause/Effect A (reconfirms pin as the cause of pain). Pin still orignary and primary.

     On Freud:

     Psychoanalysis seeks to understand ‘how a woman develops out of a child with a bisexual disposition.’ Without this originary bisexuality, there would be simply two separate sexes, man and woman. Only by positing such bisexuality can Freud treat feminine sexuality as derivative and parasitic: first an inferior phallic sexuality [the clitoris as the little penis], followed by the emergence of femininity through the repression of clitoral (masculine) sexuality. But the theory of bisexuality—one of the radical contributions of psychoanalysis—brings about a reversal of the hierarchical relation between man and woman, for it turns out that woman, with her combination of masculine and feminine modes and her two sexual organs, one “male” and one “female,” is the general model of sexuality, and the male is only a particular variant of woman, a prolonged actualization of her phallic stage… Or perhaps one should say, in keeping with the Derridean model, that man and woman are both variants of archi-woman.

     Reversal and displacement: Woman has both male (self) and female (other) in her – Who is self and other? – Man and woman both share features of archi-woman in them.

French feminism: what deconstruction is not

     Many theorists influenced by deconstruction have worked to invert the traditional hierarchy and assert the primacy of the feminine. Cixous, Irigaray, Kristeva, Sarah Kofman.

     Writers who celebrate the feminine in this way can always be accused of myth-making, of countering myths of the male with new myths of the female… But the promotion of the feminine should also be accompanied by the deconstructive attempt to displace the sexual opposition.

 

 “Trace”

Culler

     “Consider, for example, the flight of an arrow. If reality is what is present at any given instant, the arrow produces a paradox. At any given moment it is in a particular spot; it is always in a particular spot and never in motion… The presence of motion is conceivable, it turns out, only insofar as every instant is already marked with the traces of the past and future. Motion can be present, that is to say, only if the present instant is not something given but a product of the relations between past and future. Something can be happening at a given instant only if the instant is already divided within itself, inhabited by the nonpresent.”

     A deconstruction would involve the demonstration that for presence to function as it is said to, it must have the qualities that supposedly belong to its opposite, absence. Thus, in stead of defining absence in terms of presence, as its negation, we can treat “presence” as the effect of a generalized absence.

 

“Deferral”

Culler

     The case of “Emma”: “Emma traces her fear of shops to an incident at age twelve when she entered a store, saw two shop assistants laughing, and fled in fright. Freud traces it to a scene at age eight when a shopkeeper had fondled her genitals through her clothes… The sexual content is neither in the first scene, when she was aware of no sexual implications, nor in the second scene.”

     [Sexual assault wasn’t in her consciousness, neither in the first incident nor the second. Her fear of shops was a result of that unconscious feeling inflicted on her by the shopkeeper’s act of sexual assault. In other words, her conscious fear of shops (as a signifier through which the psychiatrist tries to get the signified—sexual content) is deferred, in the sense that the meaning of the signifier is delayed, displaced, and distorted, for the signifier here does not have a one-to-one relation to the signified (signifier vs. signified: conscious fear of shops vs. unconscious sexual content)].

Consider the utterance/sentence “This is a chair.”

My example:

     “This is a chair.” – present to consciousness (presence) referring to a neutral reality (referent) – utterance as fact.

     The object of chair (referent) as neutral truth is only present (the concept of “chair” present to consciousness and in the linguistic system) in its absence through the use of the signifier “chair.” – deferral (detour, belated)

     But the utterance already bears the trace of social construction (recognizing the object as something for you to sit on, to be called “chair” in English as different from non-chairs) – socially mediated and linguistically differentiated.

   The presence of “chair” is already marked by the absence of “non-chairs.” – play of differences – without the absence of “non-chairs” there would be no presence of “chair”

     Presence/absence blurred (presence situated in absence).

     Fact (referring to neutral truth) is already socially constructed. – The meaning of neutral truth is “contaminated” or deferred by the belated social construction.

Milos Macourek’s “Jacob’s Chicken”: “A chicken is a chicken.” – Not factual as the sentence would imply, but contains social meaning (a misfit in an art class, Professor Kapon’s discovery, a public sensation).

     Fact/social construction blurred (displaced, fact already marked by non-fact, both fact and social construction occupy the “originary” position in the binary opposition, and then neither is “originary” to begin with). Not pure reversal.

 

 “Textuality and Intertexuality”

l  Of Grammatology -  “There is nothing outside the text” (158). - “There is nothing outside textuality, no referent that is not itself already part of a system of signification” (82).

l  Textuality - the freeplay of differences and the end of referential language.

l  The old text: a title, margins, signature (author), a beginning, an end, overall unity, and limited content – work (closed)

l  Outside its frame: a “referential realm” – writing distinguishable from reality, the world, history, life, and speech

l  A new text: a string of differential traces that refer to other differential traces - a differential network - the absence of the referent or the transcendental signified – text (open)

l  “Biography, history, and metaphysics are always already written. Written into the text.”

l  “Every deconstruction opens itself to further deconstruction.”

l  all texts appear doubled - permeated with previous texts

l  “Because prior texts reside in present texts--that is, in their signifiers--no text itself is ever fully self-present, self-contained, or self-sufficient: no text is closed, total, or unified.”

l  “Infinite meanings are broadcast across textual surfaces. In deconstructive theory, such dissemination takes the place of truth.” – differ, defer, disperse

 

The (Inter)Textualization of Context

(Hayden White - History as written)

l  Metahistory (1973) – the interpretation of historical interpretation (a structuralist study with poststructuralist implications)

l  history, as verbal discourse, usually favors a particular mode of emplotment

l  may emerge as romance, tragedy, comedy, or satire

l  an unexamined historical record, a primitive chronicle

l  a finished text of history performs certain processes of selection and arrangement

l  producing forms of plot, explanation, and ideology

l  Every proper history presupposes a metahistory.

l  four tropological modes or master tropes: metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony - the latent level or deep structure of every historical text

l  History is textuality, is literature.

l  metaphor – a word or phrase denoting one kind of object or action is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them - “The ship plows the seas,” “Time flies.”

l  metonymy - using the name of one thing for something else with which it is associated – “I spent the evening reading Shakespeare,” “The land belongs to the crown.”

l  synecdoche - a part represents the whole (“hired hands” for workmen) or the whole represents a part (“society” to mean high society)

l  irony - the use of words to express the opposite of the literal meaning: “You’re really smart,” “You’ve done a great job.”

  评论这张
 
阅读(536)| 评论(2)
推荐

历史上的今天

在LOFTER的更多文章

评论

<#--最新日志,群博日志--> <#--推荐日志--> <#--引用记录--> <#--博主推荐--> <#--随机阅读--> <#--首页推荐--> <#--历史上的今天--> <#--被推荐日志--> <#--上一篇,下一篇--> <#-- 热度 --> <#-- 网易新闻广告 --> <#--右边模块结构--> <#--评论模块结构--> <#--引用模块结构--> <#--博主发起的投票-->
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

页脚

网易公司版权所有 ©1997-2017