Esther’s Space- journey through my life

February 5, 2007

Week 4-Derrida’s contradictory coherence

Filed under: THEORY 330 — estherspace @ 8:45 am

I hate this man

Well, in the beginning of this article, I knew that I was in for something that was no good. But, counting on Barry’s advice that I was going to get at least something out of it, I decided to persevere. I was actually buying it when Derrida claimed that “the center of a structure permits the freeplay of its elements inside the total form” (915) and “the center also closes off the freeplay it opens up and makes possible” (915). However, I think I may have been completely lost when he follows that statements with a bunch of other ‘stuff’ and then claims that “the center is at the center of the totality, and yet, since the center does not belong to the totality (is not part of the totality), the totality has its center elsewhere…the concept of centered structure…is contradictorily coherent” (915). I might be able to handle the abstract thought that the center is not the center etc., but I cannot handle something that can be described as ‘contradictorily coherent.”

So, this time I decided that my goal was to get something. Pretty much anything would do. I think that I may have succeeded on page 917, when Derrida discusses the Heideggerean destruction of metaphysics. In the article,(it appears to me that) Derrida argues that you cannot deconstruct any structured ideas or theories (in this case metaphysics) without using the theories and ideas that make up the structure and are essential to the understanding of the whole. There it is, my most basic and inconsequential reading of Derrida. Unfortunately, it is my most capable as well.

P.S. I think I hated him….then I looked up his picture, now I know.

And furthermore, did it not distract anyone while reading that Levi-Strauss is a brand of jeans and should not be regarded as any authority on literary theory?

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1 Comment »

  1. Yo! I love the picture of Derrida, it very much fits his article. Reading this, the whole time I had this image of this man in my head preching to us saying “The center is not the center with out the center no center…center center center.” His whole idea of the “center” is still extremly foggy to me and still makes no sense. Like the example we used in class about God…trying to describe God with not having God in the concept makes no sense. In some strange way, Derrida wants us to try to do that? I THINK NOT!

    Comment by annieeinna — February 20, 2007 @ 8:30 pm


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