29 mar. 2011


Really, my main critical method is deconstruction. Don't tell anyone. It's not that I'm particularly a disciple of Derrida or de Man, it's just that this is how my mind works.

For me to be interested in a critical problem, it has to be a problem. It has to involve an aporia, or basic undecidability. I have to be able to argue with myself about something or it is not worth my time.

Here's an example: poets in Spain talk about pensamiento or thought as something that some poets have an others don't. This creates a binary opposition. What nags at me is that this opposition is demonstrably unstable, because thought can mean two different things: poetry that expresses abstract or discursive thought, or a more implicit mode that opposes poetic thought to other kinds. These two definitions are diametrically opposed, in some sense. What I like to do is tease out the consequences of this kind of thinking and see where it leads.

3 comentarios:

Andrew Shields dijo...

I remember how I slowly realized that JD and PdM were not the dangerous radicals that many of their critics made them out to be ... and also not the huge new thing that many of their supporters made them out to be. Once you've got the hang of them, then certain kinds of problems (which side of an opposition is really right?) become uninteresting, while other problems (what is the effect of this undecidability on the work of the writers who are confronted by it?) become all the more interesting.

Jonathan dijo...

Exactly. I don't really care to be known as a Derridean, yet I approach everything as an aporia. I don't feel any allegiance to Derridean ideas about language, but the problems I'm interested tend to take that particular form.

Andrew Shields dijo...

Basically, Derrida gets credit for having highlighted the patterns in a series of particularly striking ways.

But you don't have to cite Derrida to work with the patterns. In fact, it can be positively counterproductive to do so (unless you are working on someone he wrote about, like Mallarmé, say).