How Radical is Derrida's Deconstructive Reading?

Derrida Today 2 (2):177-186 (2009)

Authors
Gerasimos Kakoliris
University of Athens
Abstract
The aim of my paper is to focus upon those aspects of Derrida's relation to language and textual interpretation that have not been adequately dealt with by either proponents of deconstruction, who take Derrida to have effected a total revolution in the way in which we must read texts, or those critics who view deconstruction as having subverted all possible criteria for a valid interpretation leading, thus, to an anarchical textual ‘freeplay’. This inadequate approach by both proponents and critics is the result of a failure to consider Derrida's deconstructive approach as enacting a process of ‘double reading.’ This ‘double reading’ commences with an initial stage or level which seeks to reconstruct a text's authorial intention or its vouloir dire. This initial level then prepares the text, through the identification of authorial or textual intention, for the second stage or level. At this second stage or level, which is the passage to deconstructive reading per se, the blind spots and aporias of the text are set forth. Through this focus upon the process of deconstructive reading as ‘doubling reading,’ it becomes evident that deconstruction is not as revolutionary as proponents or critics have assumed. For, Derrida's initial reading, or the ‘doubling’ of a text's authorial or textual intention is firmly set within a traditional interpretative form
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DOI 10.3366/E1754850009000517
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Of Grammatology.Jacques Derrida - 1998 - Johns Hopkins University Press.
Writing and Difference.Jacques Derrida - 1978 - University of Chicago Press.
Of Grammatology.Jacques Derrida - 1982 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 15 (1):66-70.
Limited Inc.Jacques Derrida - 1988 - Northwestern University Press.

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