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ENGC15 8.docx

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Pouneh Saeedi

ENGC15 8 Derrida  Event: o 1966—that we no longer have a center o In past, we used to have a transcendental signifier  Semiotics—study of signs  A “signifier” in semiotics = the written image  Ex. The word “tree”  Together, signifier + signified (the image of tree) = sign o Signifiers shift through time  One signifier gives way to the next = “event” o Significant transcendental signifiers:  Telos  Ousia  God o Some people talk about being and essence and ultimately god o If the center is constantly shifting, we don‟t actually have a center  „cause the basic definition of a center is that it‟s fixed  Which means we don‟t actually have one o Nietzsche—Thus Spake Zarathustra, “God is dead”  So he‟s already said that the center is gone o Mentions also Freud o Heidegger  Questions the concept of being o Michel de Montaigne  It‟s important to interpret interpretations  Derrida says there are two ways to do this: o Investigate the arché  Arché = origin  So, question the origin o Engage in play  Take away the center, you play around  No transcendental signifier, you play around with all of the signifiers  Barthes talks about the text being ludic  Which means text being all about signifiers anyway  Intertextuality things th  16 c renaissance French scholar, wrote famous essay about Shakespeare, “of Cannibals,” famous work is his “Essais” o His whole argument based on metaphysics  Within the context of this argument = binaries  Good vs. evil  Based on privileging one entity over another  Derrida says we can‟t do that because:  Levi Strauss (anthropologist investigated myths in Brazilian tribe) o Looks at raw vs. cooked o There is no privilege there because the two only makes sense in conjunction to each other o They become one entity o Talks about ethnology o Derrida uses that example to say:  Want to dismantle ethnocentrism, you end up using the very tools you want to dismantle  Ultimately we‟re bound in language, we always use the tools we want to negate o Incest is both natural, universal, and a taboo  The dichotomy of nature/nurture  Cannot privilege nature over nurture, etc. because you see how fluid it is  The boundaries between nature and culture get blurred so easily
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