From Structuralism to Post-Structuralism (Deconstruction)

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From Structuralism to Post-Structuralism (Deconstruction). Constructions of Meanings and Their Radical Uncertainty (2014 S). Reading Notes. The Basics: Poststructuralism vs. Liberal Humanism p. 118 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • From Structuralism to Post-Structuralism (Deconstruction)Constructions of Meanings and Their Radical Uncertainty (2014 S)

  • Reading NotesThe Basics: Poststructuralism vs. Liberal Humanism p. 118 Poststructuralism: the Cretan paradox p. 119 or the paradox between subject of enunciation and tne enunciated; e.g. Auto-biographyThe illusion of presence p. 122In defence of absence 124 (including definition of Diffrance)Binary oppositions revisited 128-Literary deconstruction 131 Implication 135

  • Reading NotesBeginning Theory Structure, Sign and PlayThere is nothing outside the text Comparison of Structuralism and Poststructuralism Poststructuralism: methodology

  • Notes on Orans PresentationDifferences between structuralism & poststructuralism Difference differentiation and postponement of presenceDeath of the Author you agree? Discourse and Power e.g. Huckleberry Finn

  • Quotations (1): traces of other words(Basics 125) Derrida argues that the sameholds for words: every single word contains traces of other words theoretically of all the other words in the language system: the signified concept is never present in and of itself, in a sufficient presence that would refer only to itself. Essentially and lawfully, every concept is inscribed in a chain or in a system within which it refers to the other, to other concepts. (Derrida [1982] 1996: 30)

  • Quotations (2): Diffrance Meaning, then, is the product of difference and it is also always subject to a process of deferral. In fact, a words or signs relations to other words and to words that will follow are a condition for meaning without those relations meaning wouldnot be possible. As Derrida puts it:.

  • Quotations (2): Diffrance the movement of signification is possible only if each so-called present element, each element appearing on the scene of presence, is related to something other than itself, thereby keeping within itself the mark of the past element, and already letting itself be vitiated [contaminated] by the mark of its relation to the future element, this trace being related no less to what is called the future than to what is called the past, and constituting what is called the present by means of this very relation to what it is not (Diffrance)

  • OutlineStructuralism: A Brief Review (two examples)Poststructuralist Views of Language & Reality Language (Polysemy) and Reality Jacque Derrida: (1) Diffrance Jacque Derrida: (2) Transcendental SignifiedDeconstruction: Practice: e.g. Wordsworths I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud; Keats Ode on Melancholy e.g. Refusal To Mourn The Death, By Fire, Of A Child In LondonDerrida in Context; Self-Conscious/Deconstructing Texts

  • Key words for Structualist and Semiotic approaches:I. Following language as a model II. Disclosing the deep/basic structure of a text, which is a (combination or selection) system of meaning composed of basic elements such as:-- binaries, or semiotic rectangles, -- roles/actant and functions, -- mytheme, -- narrator- narratee, -- signs or signification on different levels (signifier and signified). Roland Barthes Semiotics

  • Semiotics Some Key ConceptsCulture is composed of different languages, or systems of signs; Myth (or connotation) is constructed by emptying out or distorting the signs original meanings (denotation); Myth is seductive, and its is apparently natural and innocent.

  • Examples for analysis: gender & identityTOYOTA-VIOS 1.6- Signs? Objectification of the Woman? Myth vs. Reality?

  • Two More Examples for analysis: gender & identityTOYOTA-VIOS 1.6- Main idea: What do you want? Vios, its everything.Signs: 1) the car: Silver gray colors, in a clean but empty city with glass buildings; easy, fast and smooth driving luxury and power (The whole city is emptied out.)2) Objectification of the Woman? A woman larger than life (with the power of T.V. wall+glass building) the womans flowing hair, gaze and smile are signs of the mans self-projection of power, ease and desirability.Distorted: city, the woman an ad and its interpellation() in disguise Symptom Revealed: spectacle/image society; The TV is watching us.

  • Two More Examples for analysis: gender & identity.VISA-VISA-()Signs? Connotations? Distortion?Is the woman all powerful?

  • Two More Examples for analysis: gender & identity.VISA-VISA-()Signs: frame within the frameof the Gothic: woman in a cape; old mansion/computer game parlor; a secret pass;of electronic game -- virtual reality with a woman presented in double;sci-fi: strong woman in black tight-fit dress, Is the woman all powerful? Apparently, the two women empower each other; Actually, the visa card is power.Distortion: money = power; game = realitySymptom Revealed: everything is construction, but the power of money and electronic game is stronger than anything else.

  • Poststructuralism Keywords: constructionism floating signifier

    -- a major theoretical school in the postmodern age which radicalizes structuralist views of language by seeing signified as signifier, and separating signs from reality.

    -- in conflict with many other theoretical schools such as Marxism, Feminism and Postcolonialism, but also get to be combined with them;

    -- the areas of its influences range from arts, politics to popular culture.

  • Poststructuralism Keywords: constructionism floating signifier

  • Poststructuralism: Theory Major Questions How does poststructuralism de-center traditional authorities?Why is the author dead? Why is there nothing outside the text? Why is reality textual, and individual, a product of social and linguistic forces. . . a tissue of textualities (64-65)? Why is signifier floating, meaning disseminated, and text, an endless free play of meanings(66)?

  • (1) How does poststructuralism de-center traditional authorities?the traditional centers or foundations of our lives -- e.g. Truth, Humanity, Family, Nation, History, Reality, God, Creativity, Author and their stable meanings Physical analogy: the ground beneath our feet; fixed landmark with which we feel stability and measure the other things;With their views of languages fluidity, all the above fixed meanings are destabilized. Physical analogy: our perception on a moving train of another moving train//multiple signifying chains intersecting with one another textuality

  • (2) Why is the author dead?Why is reality textual, and individual, a product of social and linguistic forces. . . a tissue of textualities (Beginning 64-65)?

    Self: No longer a unified self; in a system of relations with multiple Subject Positions Our social existence is modeled after language as a system of relations (e.g. kinship; gender) different languages (discourses) provide us with different subject positions. There are meanings in a text which its author is not aware of. polysemy; e.g.

  • (2) Why is the author dead?Why is reality textual, and individual, a product of social and linguistic forces. . . a tissue of textualities (64-65)?

    2. Text: From work, to text to (inter)textuality; There is nothing outside of text No fixed boundaries; no stable meanings; e.g. Internet and the world of ads

  • (2) Why is the author dead?3. The death of the author. The birth of the Reader4. Readings of Meaning and Reality: 1) deconstruction to read against the grain; to find textual undecidability & 2) postmodern self-reflexivity everything is representation and in need of interpretation (more examples later)

  • Q 3: -- Why is signifier floating, meaning disseminated, and text, an endless free play of meanings(Beginning 66)?

    Note: metaphors of dandelion or seeds

  • Which of the following statements are not ambiguous?I am 40 years old. The Republic of China was born on Oct. 10, 1911. I love you till the end of the world. The experience of the earthquake yesterday was quite uncanny.

  • Which of the following statements are not ambiguous?I am 40 years old. Who is this I?The Republic of China was born on Oct. 10, 1911. born? I love you till the end of the world ( can be a store name.) love? insecticide? Vegi with blue cheese?

  • Syntagmatic/Combination(narrative structure:roles + actions); metonymyLanguage/Literature as an enclosed system

  • Polysemy caused by context

    Syntagmatic/Combination Paradigmatic/Selection: Chinaman+ more stereotypical descriptions, or a fathers advice to his son, etc.

  • Why is language ambiguous?Why are meanings undecidable & slippery? 1. Polysemy: Traces of other signs, other meanings. (e.g. national birthday; )2. Multiple Context; Reference Undecidable. (e.g. The end of the world )3. Meaning is not present in language; it happens in between signifiers. 4. (intention and the unconscious)

  • Multiple Context:

    http://203.198.70.29/subject/chlt/tangci.htm Male poet and Waiting woman.

  • random samples from Internet . 03:59, NAPSTER, . (source)Traces of other usages

  • Derrida: Outline -- Jacque Derrida: 1. Prologue: Instability of Meaning (discussed) 2. Writing as Diffrance 3. Center as Transcendental Signified and Binarism 4. Deconstruction: Literary Practice

  • Language in movement (1) SpacingMovement from one Signifier to another-- Meaning changed when the context is further revealed. Comic effects in standup comedians show : old traces vs. newly defined meanings. (e.g. ) The traces of the old meanings are both present and absent.

  • Writing and DiffranceLanguage a system of difference of Diffrance.* While structualists had treated binary oppositions as stable terms in a formal structure, Der