Thursday, July 8, 2010



Mukesh Williams

Anything we confess or profess implies taking a position. A position would imply apart from other things an act of laying down of a proposition or a thesis. Even opening up a debate, seeking genealogies or simply deconstructing are all acts that take up a position even when they deny doing so. Nothing is neutral. Every act intervenes. The signature in a text points at an intention, to some hidden agenda. Hegel had once pointed out that inversions and displacements are created through what is said and what is meant. Though academic deconstruction has claimed to be apolitical Derrida has always insisted of the political nature of the exercise. Perhaps Edward Said was right when he suggested that American deconstruction was overtly neoconservative. The message of a text may be misconstrued or used for ideological advantage and may have nothing to do with the original meaning or implication of the text. But then is the author responsible for the distortion of the text? Derrida points out that the “effects or structure of a text are not reducible to its ‘truth,’ to the intended meaning of its presumed author, or even its supposedly unique and identifiable signatory” (Derrida, The Ear of the Other, 1985 29). Does it mean that the author relinquishes all responsibility of the ideas he proffers?

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