Advertisement

Deconstruction and Love

  • Peggy Kamuf
Chapter

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Economic Circularity Rhetorical Question Great Thing Objective Neutrality Walk Away 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Works Cited

  1. de Man, Paul (1979), Allegories of Reading: Figural Language in Rousseau, Nietzsche, Rilke, and Proust (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press).Google Scholar
  2. de Man, Paul (1986), ‘Hypogram and Inscription’, in The Resistance to Theory (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press).Google Scholar
  3. Derrida, Jacques (1973), Speech and Phenomena, trans. David B. Allison (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press).Google Scholar
  4. Derrida, Jacques (1985), The Ear of the Other: Otobiography, Transference, Translation, trans. Peggy Kamuf (New York: Schocken Books).Google Scholar
  5. Derrida, Jacques (1986), ‘Le Facteur de la Vérité’, in The Post Card: From Socrates to Freud and Beyond, trans. Alan Bass (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press).Google Scholar
  6. Derrida, Jacques (1990), ‘Force of Law: The “Mystical Foundation of Authority”’, trans. Mary Quaintance, Cardozo Law Review, vol. 11, nos 5–6 (July/Aug.)Google Scholar
  7. Derrida, Jacques (1992), ‘Aphorism Countertime’, trans. Nicholas Royle, in Acts of Literature, ed. Derek Attridge (New York and London: Routledge).Google Scholar
  8. Derrida, Jacques (1997), Politics of Friendship, trans. George Collins, (London: Verso).Google Scholar
  9. James, Henry (1996), Great Short Works of Henry James (New York: Harper and Row).Google Scholar
  10. Kamuf, Peggy (1996), ‘Derrida on Television’, in Applying: To Derrida, ed. John Brannigan et al. (London: Macmillan Press).Google Scholar
  11. Martin, Bill (1995), Humanism and Its Aftermath: The Shared Fate of Deconstruction and Politics (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press).Google Scholar
  12. Nancy, Jean-Luc (1990), ‘L’amour en éclats’, in Une pensée finie (Paris: Galilée).Google Scholar
  13. Nussbaum, Martha C. (1990), Love’s Knowledge: Essays on Philosophy and Literature (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  14. Royle, Nicholas (1995), After Derrida (Manchester: Manchester University Press).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Peggy Kamuf 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peggy Kamuf

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations