Jacques Derrida Deconstructs American Attitudes

Jacques Der­ri­da, the founder of Decon­struc­tion, was some­thing of an aca­d­e­m­ic rock star dur­ing his day. He packed audi­to­ri­ums when­ev­er and wher­ev­er he spoke. Films were made about him. And a gen­er­a­tion of aca­d­e­mics churned out Der­ridean decon­struc­tions of lit­er­ary texts. All of this made Der­ri­da’s star rise ever high­er. But whether it did much good for Comp Lit, French and Eng­lish pro­grams across the US, that’s anoth­er sto­ry.

But we digress from the main point here. Our friend­ly French philoso­pher spent a fair amount of time teach­ing in the US and got acquaint­ed with Amer­i­can atti­tudes. Some­times, he says, we can be manip­u­la­tive and util­i­tar­i­an. What exact­ly do you mean Mr. Der­ri­da? Can you please elab­o­rate? Of course, he does above.

Note: If you aren’t quite clear on what decon­struc­tion is all about, you can watch two lec­tures devot­ed to the sub­ject (here and here) from Yale’s course on Lit­er­ary The­o­ry. Enti­tled “Intro­duc­tion to The­o­ry of Lit­er­a­ture,” this course, taught by Paul Fry, is list­ed in the Lit­er­a­ture sec­tion of our big col­lec­tion of Free Online Cours­es.

H/T Bib­liok­lept

Relat­ed Con­tent:

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