Below are some notes from the ever insightful Peter Gratton at Memorial University on Derrida’s “Différance” and “Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences”. Given that I have posted twice today on this text it looks like a re-reading is in order this weekend. maybe I’ll type some stuff on that and post here?
Derrida’s “Différance” and “Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences”
We begin tonight where many think we should have already begun, namely with the two most-assigned essays in Derrida’s oeuvre, texts that in most anthologies and classes on what gets called “literary theory” count as a sign that signifies all that Derrida will have written from 1966 (the year of the first publication of “SSP”) and 1968 (the year he gave the lecture “Différance” to the Société française de philosophie) on forward. But these texts, as you’ve now read and reread them, are anything but straightforward, and are hardly the introduction one would want to his thought, to its ultimate meaning, precisely because in these texts he argues against thinking of any ultimate meaning to a text above, below, or beyond its materiality, that is to say, its particular system of signs: this…
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