Questions and Examples:
Do you agree that language is
unstable? How can a sign be both absent and present?
Do you agree with Derridian
usages of etymology? Julian Wolfrey's ways of approaching
What does yellow ribbon mean?
And purple ribbon? How can 911 terrorism be seen as an act of
How does Barthes define text
(as opposed to work)? What issues are engaged in Derridian
example 1 -- the ending of Housekeeping;
"Or imagine Lucille in
Boston, at a table in a restaurant, waiting for a friend. . . Her water
glass has left two-thirds of a ring on the table, and she works at
completing the circle with her thumbnail. Sylvie and I do not
flounce in through the door¡K We do not sit down at the table next
to hers and
empty our pockets in a small damp heap in the middle of the table, and
sort out the gum wrappers and ticket stubs, and add up the coins and dollar
bills, and laugh and add them up again. My mother, likewise, is not
there, and my grandmother in her house slippers with her pigtail wagging,
and my grandfather, with his hair combed flat against his brow, does not
examine the menu with studious interest. We are nowhere in Boston. However
Lucille may look, she will never find us there, or any trace or sign
. . . No one watching this woman smear her initials in the steam on her
water glass with her first finger, or slip cellophane packets of oyster
crackers into her handbag for the sea gulls, could know how her thoughts are
thronged by our absence, or know how she does not watch, does not
listen, does not wait, does not hope, and always for
me and Sylvie."
Robinson¡¦s closing, one cannot imagine a better example of a narrative
achieving a sense of completion, of the circle of story coming closed."
--> Do you agree?
A. How does deconstruction
Major Concepts & Terms of
-- language as a system of differance; 1. To defer, 2. To differ
--> binary opposition and supplement, spacing, temporizing and
temporalizing, traces and excess of meanings
-- against presence or the transcendental signified; against
logocentrism, phonocentrism, phalogocentrism
I. a letter--an
example of Derrida's play on the polysemy of words.
"graphic difference" is only graphic, for that the "a"
replacing the "e" can be written or read but never can be heard. (p.
109) "the pyramidal silence" of the graphic difference.
--In and through
this "tomb-like" single character, tyrant is buried. p. 110
what it is not:
not a concept, not a word
(108); not a presence (110); beyond philosophical-empirical opposition;
the false questions about
"what differ, who differ and what differance is." p. 118
to differ and defer;
temporalize and temporize; 112
explanation of temporization
The sign p. 113
Using de Saussure and
differ from him; from system to play. pp. 114
as the movement of
signification: "the movement according to which language . .
. is constituted historically" p. 115-16
subject--inscribed in language 118
the enigma of differance
is the "self-effacing" of meaning in any spoken or written
utterance. The play of trace has neither meaning nor depth.It points to
nothing, belonging to no place.Trace could be the simulacrum of a
presence and refers beyond itself; "in presenting itself it becomes
effaced" pp. 125 -
by Kevin Chen
Intro. outline by Lily Huang