Deconstruction and Love

  • Peggy Kamuf


The conjunction of deconstruction and love will seem an unexpected one to some. It is not an association authorized by the widely circulated image of deconstruction as an essentially negative operation, as if the term were really a synonym of ‘destruction’ and the additionaI syllable simply superfluous. This persistent reduction has come about only after many repetitions, performed most often so as to give someone a pretext for denunciation. Deconstruction has had bad press almost since it first appeared in Derrida’s writings. Things got quickly worse when others began to pick up the term, perhaps because this could be taken as a signal that something larger was afoot and would have to be dealt with more severely. Thus it is that, after several decades of such severity, one cannot approach an essay on deconstruction and love without anticipating a resistance fed by the rumour that deconstruction is essentially destructive and even that it destroys everything we, as members of civilized societies, ought to work to preserve from destruction, which is to say, everything we love, as well as everything we are told we ought to love. Beginning with love itself. At its core, this resistance would be working to protect love itself from destruction. And what could be more natural than that? The nature of this resistance would thus be that of the tautology assumed between acts of loving and acts of preserving or protecting from destruction. As such, it is likely to be activated by very powerful forces indeed.


Economic Circularity Rhetorical Question Great Thing Objective Neutrality Walk Away 
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Copyright information

© Peggy Kamuf 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peggy Kamuf

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