Seminar - September 27, 2004
CLT 601 :
:Deconstruction and Criticism
* Could use the same object/event for both papers, approximately 8-10 pages
The 1st due on 10/18
-to deal with deconstruction as literary or art criticism
-a deconstructive reading of any aesthetic object such as a text, film, play, building, or painting
The 2nd due on 11/29
-how deconstruction is practiced as ethical and political criticism
* M. Dufrenne: theorist, phenomenology of aesthetic works
Make distinction between ¡§aesthetic perception¡¨ and ¡§aesthetic object¡¨
-aesthetic perception: intentional aspect of phenomenology
-aesthetic object: whatever being examined interferes in/consciously
* The Differend
-what happens between the two
-the place where there¡¦s no intersection
-doesn¡¦t belong to either sides
-the edge or limit of either condition; if the two sides meet somewhere, it¡¦s where they meet
* Of Hospitality
-the question of ¡§host¡¨↔ ¡§guest¡¨
Began Christian¡¦s protocol:
The difference between semiotics and semiology
Milan, 1974: First congress of the International Association of Semiotics, had a dispute/vote over the title
-triatic: there are 3 positive elements to any kind of semiotic system (icon, index, symbol)
-binary: e.g. signifier¡Xsignified Synchronic¡Xdiachronic
-there¡¦s no positive 3rd term
Both concern the general science of signs
Clarifications regarding Husserl and Sartre
The reduction transforms it from ¡§whether
the thing exists in the world¡¨ to the level of consciousness; reflex upon
The reduction transforms it from ¡§whether the thing exists in the world¡¨ to the level of consciousness; reflex upon consciousness
the object presents itself to a consciousness
the object presents itself to a consciousness
¡§Who I am¡¨ as an ego presentsitself to my consciousness. ¡§I am a professor¡¨à¡¨professor¡¨ as essence presents itself inmy consciousness, but it¡¦s not in my consciousness. The object transcendsbecause it presents itself to me.
1. toget it out of the transcendental position that Husserl thought it had
2. itpresents itself to my consciousness. It is a subjectivity
*Example: COGITOSUM (I think therefore I am)
The tradition ofcogito:
-Kant (¡§Ich Denke¡¨)
-Husserl (particularly inThe Crisisof European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology, 1936)
-Merleau-Ponty (the last 3chapters ofPhenomenology of Perception)
-Foucault (Madness andCivilization)
-Derrida (in ¡§Cogito in History andMadness,¡¨Writing and Difference, he responds to Foucault)
If I want to talk aboutsomething in a phenomenological way, I do two things:
1. eideticreductionàto get to the level of ¡§somethingness¡¨
2. transcendentalreductionàto do bracketing
It¡¦s not significant theobject exists or not.
In Husserl: ¡§I think thereforeIam¡¨ may be correct. I don¡¦t care where this ¡§I¡¨ is, or whether this ¡§I¡¨exists or not
Sartre: ¡§I think thereforethemeis.¡¨ ¡§Me¡¨ is the direct object of my
I think (nothingness)àMe is (somethingness;transcendent; outside of consciousness)
Further explanation forsemiology
*Problem in semiology: What¡¦sthe relationship between a concept and an object?
In phenomenology we talk aboutobjects; in semiology we talk about signs, which contains both concepts andobjects. There¡¦s anindecidabilityat the level of signified (inside the concept). The concept is both inside and outside the signifier¡X¡§outside¡¨means the level of the ¡§signifying¡¨
A sign has two parts: word, object/concept, idea
In French, ¡§significant¡¨ meansboth ¡§signifier¡¨ and ¡§signifying¡¨àthere¡¦s an indecidability ofbeing ¡§signifier¡¨ or ¡§signifying¡¨
*Denotation and connotation
-Roland Barthes:Elementsof Semiology, 1964
-¡§Metaphor¡¨ also consists ofdenotation and connotation. Derrida discusses about metaphor inMargin of Philosophy.
*Lacan talks aboutSaussure
-Lacan is interested in howpeople use words.Words under Wordstalks aboutanagram.
function of the bar ¡§¡V¡V¡¨ : to link and to separate at the same time
The function of the bar ¡§¡V¡V¡¨ : to link and to separate at the same time
[arbre]à[barre]: bar¡Xlong table separatescustomers and bartenders
bar¡Xbe able to practice thelaw before/behind it
sand bar¡Xsand that separatesthe bay and the land
in York, England¡Xa gate that separatethe outside and the inside of the city
Saussure¡¦s unconscious use of anagram
: There¡¦s no one to onecorrespondence between signified and signifier because
¡§The Insistence of the Letter in theUnconscious,¡¨ Lacan makes distinction
between metaphor and
metonymy, wherethere¡¦s a strong bar separates signified and signifier.
-The whole question of bar andborder line is the background to Derrida.
Further explanation forDerrida¡¦s ¡§Living on: Border Lines¡¨
-an add-on, doesn¡¦t replacethe first one; doesn¡¦t stand up alone
has supplementarity(adds to it but doesn¡¦t replace the designation of Sdand Sr; links and separates
thetwo). The bar is mobile.
*thelinethat separates the topessay and bottom essay (footnote)
column in the title in the runninghead ¡§Living On:Border Lines¡¨
functions the same as the bar in
¡§LivingOn¡¨/¡§Border Lines¡¨àlinks and separates
- graphē / phonē grammē
writing speaking archē-writing
(different kind of writing, neither thelevel of speaking or writing)
usage of ¡§column¡¨¡XIn English,column precedes a whole sentence, while in French,
functions more like aperiod. The column designates theline that separates essay and the bottom essay. But
if you say ¡§living on borderline¡¨, you don¡¦t hear the column. ¡§Livingon¡¨ isn¡¦t just a noun.
Living on : border lines
vivre sur les bords
•the indecidability of ¡§vivre¡¨:1. to live 2. living
# vivre sur: live on
# sur vivre: survive
# les bords: border, frame,edge
•the word ¡§vivre¡¨ therefore becomes atopos (topic): to talk about living, to go on living, to go write-on-living, togo right-on-living,
* There¡¦s a border line betweenlanguages. Derrida believes thatthe function of untranslatability is that there¡¦s a place of blockage.
-What does it mean by ¡§write-on-living¡¨? Derrida is trying to write about life,just like Shelly does.
-The hyphen puts a link betweenwords. It¡¦s a trace of connection,like a bar that links and separates.
-In reality, Shellydrowned. He didn¡¦t go right on
living. But through his writings, he went onliving.
He kept on writing onliving.
do you read a poem?Extransitcriticismtalks about things outside the poem
(e.g. Shelly drowned).
Intransit criticismsays youshould only write about the poem itself.
very edge/margin of the poem is thebreak off at the end¡XShelly died. How could
you not mention it when
you read the poem?
brings in a different andindependent text hundreds of years later as a critical
practice to judge the
position of the text, which has a great deal about ¡§living,¡¨ ¡§living on,¡¨etc. Only by writing this textbelow/
the line, the border line becomes meaningful. There¡¦s a performance here; there¡¦s a connection to make.
* Criticism and critic
the status of criticism and differenttype of critical practice? A tool that
applies? A way of life? A
practice whichone performs? A world view?
comes the reading? Does it comefrom the subject? According to ¡K, the
deconstructive reading operates
effectively on everything. Adeconstructive reader already engages in the relation with the text.
-The problem of new criticism is that you¡¦resupposed to surrender your self, to make yourself disappear.
-Deconstruction is a practice.
-Miller talks about the status ofcritics. Is a critic somebodycompletely outside? Like a barnacle?