Who Mourns for Derrida?*

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Courtesy of a friend: here

a brief excerpt:

But even if deconstruction cannot be defined, it can be described. For one thing, deconstruction comes with a lifetime guarantee to render discussion of any subject completely unintelligible. It does this by linguistic subterfuge. One of the central slogans of deconstruction is il n'y a pas de hors-texte, i.e., "there is nothing outside the text." (It sounds better in French.) In other words, deconstruction is an updated version of nominalism, the view that the meanings of words are completely arbitrary and that, at bottom, reality is unknowable.

Jacques Derrida along with Paul de Man gave us the systematic undermining of modern morality and respect for the truth. And then there is this lovely little piece of filth to deal with:

Stock in deconstruction has sagged a bit in recent years. There are basically two reasons for this. The first has to do with the late Paul de Man, the Belgian-born Yale professor of comparative literature. In addition to being one of the most prominent practitioners of deconstruction, Mr. de Man--as was revealed in the late 1980s--was an enthusiastic contributor to Nazi newspapers during World War II.

That discovery, and above all the flood of obscurantist mendacity disgorged by the deconstructionist brotherhood--not least by Mr. Derrida, who was himself Jewish--to exonerate Mr. de Man, cast a permanent shadow over deconstruction's status as a supposed instrument of intellectual liberation.

Sorry I've quoted so much, but atheistic existentialism (in fact most existentialism) and postmodernism are two hobby horses I would like to ride to death and bury them shallowly so that the more worthy vermin may pick their bones. They have done more to destroy the fabric of culture and society than anyone or anything except perhaps Margaret Sanger and the eugenicists.

May Mr. Derrida rest in peace, I pray ardently for the repose of his soul, despite the damage he may have wrought on culture in general. But may his work crumble and be consigned to the dimmest lit, mustiest, and moldiest back shelves of the library of culture along with Deism and other worthy contenders for philosophies just short of insanity. The foulness of this philosophy taints even sterlling members of the Saint Blogs' community who are accustomed to talkling about "victimization" and the "need for emancipation from the hegemony." Those who tremble in rage at the pale penile patriarchy and who go out of their way to give me inclusive language that is yet a further assault on the ears and intellect. The reach is vast--may it be eradicated. I pray never to hear another word about the "imperialism of ideas" or about the "lesbian phallus." Yes, all of these things are courtesy of Mr. Derrida and his merry androgynes et al.

* Not that Derrida in any manner compares--but the source:

Adonais: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)


XLVII

Who mourns for Adonais? Oh, come forth,
Fond wretch! and know thyself and him aright.
Clasp with thy panting soul the pendulous Earth;
As from a centre, dart thy spirit's light
Beyond all worlds, until its spacious might
Satiate the void circumference: then shrink
Even to a point within our day and night;
And keep thy heart light lest it make thee sink
When hope has kindled hope, and lur'd thee to the brink.

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6 Comments

You know you're going to get a lot of Google searche hits as a result of posting "lesbian phallus". *grin*

Dear TSO,

I hadn't considered that. And I suppose as a result I should tone my rhetoric down. But presently there are about 482 references so maybe it will be relatively submerged in the list when it comes up. And "serious" scholars will see immediately the error of my ways.

shalom,

Steven

What would be a just task for Derrida to complete in Purgatory as temporal punishment for his sins?

Hmm. I missed "lesbian phallus" in my shock that you should have condemned pretty much all existentialism, including therefore (I suppose) the Christian existentialism of Dostoevsky and Kierkegaard. I have read in fact that Kierkegaard pretty much founded existentialism.

An Italian friend also pointed me once to Luigi Pareyson, whom she called the most important spokesman of European Catholic existentialism. (Pareyson considerato il massimo esponente dell' esistenzialismo cattolico europeo...)

Alas, I myself don't know much about either (yet another thing I'd like to read more about one day) but maybe you have read Kierkegaard, Dostoevsky, and/or Pareyson, in which case I'd like to know your opinion. (Not being sarcastic; I'm genuinely curious.)

Howdy, Mr. Riddle -

Josh Miller mourns for whats-his-name. He has an interesting take over here. Beats me. Now if you'd posted a new recipe for diaper wipes I'd be right there with you, man.

Must sleep.

bw

Jack,

My beef with existentialism, and that does include at least Kierkegaard (I think Dostoevskii is often coopted and his works are not essentially philosophical but the beginnings of naturalism) is the implicit claim of replacing essentialism and philosoophy from Aristotle on.

I am ultimately an essentialist. I believe that there are "essences" if you will that exist in the supernatural world. Not really the platonic cave of the real, but more that Truth is and need not be apprehended in an existential way, but exists apart from experience of it.

I think the philosophies CAN live side by side, and there is much that I admire in Kierkegaard; however, the logic of Kierkegaard naturally gravitates toward Camus and Sartre, and I think that in itself speaks volumes regarding the underlying thought. When I look at other philosophical errors, they stem mostly from denying Aristotleian/Aquinian underpinings. But when I see existentialism and its contemporaries--logical positivism, deweyism, utilitarianism, --and its children--post-modernism, deconstructionism, nihilism--I find it relatively easy to apply Jesus's admonition--"By their fruits you shall know them." From this I conclude, possibly erroneously, but with great conviction nonetheless, that there is something terribly rotten at the core of existentialism. I prefer my philosophy pre-modern, thank you.

shalom,

Steven

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 12, 2004 11:07 AM.

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