[lbo-talk] do people still read post-structuralism?

Jeffrey Fisher jeff.jfisher at gmail.com
Tue Nov 3 21:17:46 PST 2009

On Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 8:53 PM, Joanna <123hop at comcast.net> wrote:

> Shag writes
> "I've never understood what people think is wrong with deconstruction.
> *shrug*"
> There's nothing wrong with it per se. Essentially it is just a technique of
> close reading. What differentiates it from close reading (l'explication de
> texte), which was a school room exercise in France and a reactionary lit
> crit movement in the U.S., is that it blends close reading with a
> de-natured Marxism. That is, it pretends to include history but only always
> ultimately to exclude it and to revert to the "text" as the all explanatory
> methaphor.

This sure sounds like something "wrong with it per se," except of course I disagree with your understanding of it. What's at stake is a resistance to claims of transcending history. At least, that's how I always understood it. And at the end of the day, that's a fairly modest task, really, so it's not like I'm making claims that deconstruction will save the world or whatever. 'Cause, you know, it doesn't transcend history.

But as you say below, is this really the conversation that needs to happen again? All of us who care about this more or less have opinions on it, already. At least, as far as I can tell. Not sure what point there is in arguing about it.

> I could also say something about the wilfully obscurantist language that it
> chooses and the politically reactionary nature of this choice, but that's an
> old argument that I don't want to go through again.



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