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By Rajnath (eds.)

This number of essays examines quite a lot of subject matters with regards to deconstruction, which emerged in France as a response to structuralism yet has chanced on its maximum reaction in the United States, the place literary critics have outfitted on its simple assumptions to create a brand new severe movement.

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Extra info for Deconstruction: A Critique

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A third feature is the unavoidable use in a text of what are presumed to be exclusive oppositions; Derrida undertakes to undermine such oppositions by showing that their boundaries are constantly transgressed, in that each of the terms crosses over into the domain of its opponent term. Prominent among the many unsustainable oppositions to which Derrida draws our attention is that of inside/outside, or internal/external, as applied to what is within or outside the mind, or within or outside the system of linguistic signs, or within or outside a text (a book, a poem or an essay) which is ostensibly complete in ~tself.

Most dismaying to traditionalists is the claim, diversely argued, that no text, either in its component passages or as an entity, has a determinable meaning and therefore 32 Construing and Deconstructing 33 that there is no right way to interpret it; all attempts to read a text are doomed to be misreadings. Among these innovations in literary theory and practice, the signs are that deconstruction, based primarily on writings of Jacques Derrida since the late 1960s, will be predominant. Within the last ten years deconstructive criticism has generated a flood of books and articles which exemplify it, describe it, attack it or defend it; the articles appear not only in several journals devoted primarily to deconstruction, but increasingly in the most staid of publications, including the alleged stronghold of the critical establishment, PMLA.

However autonomous the critical textis licensed to be by currenttheorists, we still must concede that its object text is what- at least ostensibly - gets it going on its self-assertive, and thematic, path. This self-assertiveness and ·its deviousness open criticism to being deconstructed by recent theorist of a very different sort from those discussed so far- social theorists, usually strongly flavoured by political concerns. Speaking strongly for itself from motives that derive from extra-linguistic, or even extra-aesthetic sou:t;ces - what I have been treating as thematic and, ultimately, moral - criticism becomes an object of study for those theorists, Marxists and some of those influenced by Michel Foucault, who have been hunting for hidden motives, mainly social and political, behind what texts are apparently seeking to perform.

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