Thursday, April 17, 2008

"Against Theory" article

Like some other people have already stated in their posts, I too found the Against Theory article illuminating.  

One point I focused in on especially is the following: "Our point is that marks produced by chance are not words at all but only resemble them.  For Juhl, the marks remain words, but words detached from the intentions that would make them utterances." (732)  This has been my problem with deconstructionists, who seem to believe that texts can largely stand by themselves, without any sort of authorial intention or motive.

I therefore think I largely agree with what is put forth in this article.  It is not possible to separate authorial intention and a text's meaning/interpretation.  They are one in the same: "The mistake made by theorists has been to imagine the possibility or desirability of moving from one term (the author's intended meaning) to a second term (the text's meaning), when actually the two terms are the same.  One can neither succeed nor fail in deriving one term from the other, since to have one is already to have them both." (724)   


1 comment:

Roger Market said...

Isn't that New Criticism (or Formalism), not Deconstruction?

And I just don't know about that. One can write something and have the reader interpret it in a completely different way (poetry is a great example).