minor pet peeve about deconstruction

Every so often, I'll hear someone use the word "deconstruction" in a sentence. While it doesn't make me cringe per se, it does tend to be a mild irritant if only because there's more to the word than being synonymous with analysis. (Literally, to de-construct, to take apart in order to understand it better, thus to analyze.) The word is simply used in too cavalier a fashion, methinks.

In his Letter to a Japanese Friend, Derrida put it starkly: "
All sentences of the type 'deconstruction is X' or 'deconstruction is not X' a priori miss the point, which is to say that they are at least false." If this is a bit cryptic, the entry on Derrida at Wikipedia isn't necessarily more helpful, in that it mentions, in response to the popularity of deconstruction in literary studies, "Derrida's claims that deconstruction is an 'event' within a text, not a method of reading it."

But perhaps there is some clarity to be found in Derrida's lecture "Signature, Event, Context," (click here for the original French) in which he said:

Deconstruction cannot limit itself or proceed immediately to a neutralization: it must, by means of a double gesture, a double science, a double writing, practice an overturning of the classical opposition and a general displacement of the system. It is only on this condition that deconstruction will provide itself the means with which to intervene in the field of oppositions that it criticizes, which is also a field of nondiscursive forces. Each concept, moreover, belongs to a systematic chain, and itself constitutes a system of predicates. There is no metaphysical concept in and of itself. There is a work - metaphysical or not - on conceptual systems. Deconstruction does not consist in passing from one concept to another, but in overturning and displacing a conceptual order, as well as the nonconceptual order with which the conceptual order is articulated.

The question, then, is how this displacement occurs as an event within a text, while keeping in mind the"someone" that "performs" (or rather inhabits, that is, witnesses) the event of deconstruction. To offer an answer; more reading.

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