The Anxiety of American Deconstruction
That deconstruction has manifested, over the past decade, an uncanny power to arouse anxiety in the institutions of learning that house and host it, will come as no surprise to students of the movement. Having at last been accepted as a fact of institutional life, deconstruction now presents us with the problem of how best to live with and control it, like a recently discovered disease that has proved not to be fatal, as was first feared, but merely discomforting, and for which there is still no known cure, though research continues. If we have not yet learned how to stop worrying altogether and love deconstruction, we have at least passed beyond the initial shock of its recognition. There are even signs that deconstruction may prove, in the course of its progress, to be self-deconstructing, that is self-curing, so that those who come down with it may eventually find themselves diagnosed a normal once again, well and truly able to carry out business as usual. And if that turns out to be the case — so runs the argument of this paper — it will be a new and serious occasion for anxiety.
KeywordsLiterary Language Weak Textualist Institutional Authority Elitist Cult Institutional Discourse
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