Quotes About Derrida

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Quotes About Derrida

181. Pharmakon means drug, but as Jacques Derrida and others have pointed out, the word in Greek famously refuses to designate whether poison or cure. It holds both in the bowl. In the dialogues Plato uses the word to refer to everything from an illness, its cause, its cure, a recipe, a charm, a substance, a spell, artificial color, and paint.
— Maggie Nelson —

Like the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School, postmodernism seeks to institutionalize dishonesty as a legitimate school of thought. The idea of truth as the ultimate goal of the intellectual is discarded. In its place, scholars are asked to pursue political objectives
so long as those political objectives are the 'correct' ones. Postmodernism is not fringe within the community of scholars. It is central. This tells us a great deal about the life of the mind today. Peruse any university course catalogue, and you find names like Foucault, Derrida, and Barthes. Scour the footnotes of scholarly books and journals and a similar story unfolds. With the primacy of philosophies
postmodernism, Critical Theory, and even the right-leaning Straussianism
that exalt dishonesty in the service of supposedly noble causes, is it at all surprising that liars like Alfred Kinsey, Rigoberta Menchu, Alger Hiss, and Margaret Sanger have achieved a venerated status among the intellectuals?

— Daniel J. Flynn

The 1980s witnessed radical advances in the theorisation of the study of literature in the universities. It had begun in France in the 1960s and it made a large impact on the higher education establishments of Britain and America. New life was breathed into psychoanalytic and Marxist theory, while structuralism gave way to post-structuralism. The stability of the text as a focus of study was challenged by deconstruction, a theory developed by the French philosopher, Jacques Derrida, which represented a complete fracture with the old liberal-formalist mode of reading. Coherence and unity were seen as illusory and readers were liberated to aim at their own meanings. Hardy's texts were at the centre of these theoretical movements, including one that came to prominence in the 1980s, feminism.

— Geoffrey Harvey

With Derrida, you can hardly misread him, because he's so obscure. Every time you say, "He says so and so," he always says, "You misunderstood me." But if you try to figure out the correct interpretation, then that's not so easy. I once said this to Michel Foucault, who was more hostile to Derrida even than I am, and Foucault said that Derrida practiced the method of obscurantisme terroriste (terrorism of obscurantism). We were speaking French. And I said, "What the hell do you mean by that?" And he said, "He writes so obscurely you can't tell what he's saying, that's the obscurantism part, and then when you criticize him, he can always say, 'You didn't understand me; you're an idiot.' That's the terrorism part." And I like that. So I wrote an article about Derrida. I asked Michel if it was OK if I quoted that passage, and he said yes.

— John Rogers Searle

If the invention of derivatives was the financial world's modernist dawn, the current crisis is unsettlingly like the birth of postmodernism. For anyone who studied literature in college in the past few decades, there is a weird familiarity about the current crisis: value, in the realm of finance capital, parallels the elusive nature of meaning in deconstrucitonism. According to Jacques Derrida, the doyen of the school, meaning can never be precisely located; instead, it is always 'deferred,' moved elsewhere, located in other meanings, which refer and defer to other meanings-a snake permanently and necessarily eating its own tail. This process is fluid and constant, but at moments the perpetual process of deferral stalls and collapses in on itself. Derrida called this moment an 'aporia,' from a Greek term meaning 'impasse.' There is something both amusing and appalling about seeing his theories acted out in the world markets to such cataclysmic effect.

— John Lanchester

The assumption that Derrida always knows what he is talking about is not Derridean.

— Timothy Morton

The followers of Derrida are pathetic, snuffling in French pockets for bits of pieces of a deconstructive method already massively and coherently presented and with a mature sense of the sacred in Buddhism and Hinduism.

— Camille Paglia

The smouldering eroticism of great European actresses like Jeanne Moreau demonstrated to my generations women's archetypal mystery and glamour, completely missing from the totalitarian world-view of the misogynist Foucault. For me, the big French D is not Derrida, but Deneuve.

— Camille Paglia

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