The problem with this book like Derrida's other books is that it's hard to read. Derrida thinks he is saying something so deep but he can't say it right, he always uses strange words that I don't know the meanings. I can't find them in my dictionary and I even have a French one. If he knew what he was talking about then maybe we could start talking, but he never makes his point. For example a real philosopher like Kahlil Gibran (remember "The Prophet?) never wastes time but gets to the point. I think Derrida would like to be like Kahlil Gibran but he's going to have to work at it.
I have no idea why this book is so influential. The critique of "logocentrism" is flat-out boring and basically a rehash of Plato's critique of the shift in society when the written word came into play. Derrida is certainly not a new nor a creative thinker, and he really does not write very well. There is a certain stylistic flow to his prose, but the book is filled full of gobble-de-gook that makes little sense. Okay, so Derrida is celebrating the play of language and the creative aspects of miscommunication -- writing of the margins and white-space so that he calls into question the standards of written prose. So what? Is this useful? Is it accurate? Does not making sense make any sense? Even when one breaks through to the few segments of writing that are even remotely understandable, the arguments that Derrida makes are really dated. They are drawn from obsolete and racist theories of unilinear cultural evolution that has been discarded by reputable anthropologists for well over 70 years. There are no "traces" of grammatological signs hidden in the unconscious. The book is little more than a pseudo-intellectual excursion and descent into the etymological fallacy.
I don't like this book as it didn't help me with my home work and Miss Rogers told me off. I wanted to correct my grammar which weren't very good but Derrida did not help me he was talking difficult stuff.
While my grammar was attacked however, Miss Rogers did concede my principal point, which was that Derrida, having constructed his own metanarrative, is as susceptible to wilful misinterpretation through the prism of other metanarratives as he inflicts on others. Moreover, in some of Derrida's earlier essays, he specifically attacks Heidegger for misunderstanding what he means when accounting for his own form of deconstruction. Yet it seems to me - and surely to most? - that the central tenet of deconstruction is this: that authorial intent cannot be guaranteed as ultimate meaning; and that ultimate meaning does not exist. Vive la differance? Or does he need a kick up the arche?
Miss Rogers gave me a B- for anyone interested.
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