‘What is Deconstruction?’

Earlier I tweeted a link to an essay by Nicholas Royle which poses the question ‘What is Deconstruction?’. The essay is a trenchant, witty letter to the editors of Chambers Dictionary about the weakness of their definition of the term. Royle writes:

I offer a hypothesis: your definition is haunted by the anxiety that, with deconstruction, the very possibility of a dictionary explodes.

I’m linking here to the essay because it is so fucking great. Derrida eventually became unhappy with the privilege attached to the term ‘deconstruction’, just one of many important concepts in his texts. It is a term resistant of easy definition. Derrida wrote ‘deconstruction loses nothing from admitting that it is impossible’, that it is ‘an experience of the impossible’.

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