Blog 3 – Derrida

“Yet if reading must not be content with doubling the text, it cannot legitimately transgress the text toward something other than it, toward a referent (a reality that is metaphysical, historical, psychobiographical, etc.) or toward a signified outside text whose content could take place, could have taken place outside of language, that is to say, in the sense that we give here to that word, outside of writing in general” (1692). 

 

In this statement, Derrida describes the inherent duality of literature; it creates both the generally understood concept as well as ‘a referent…signified outside the text’. The specific idea or message intended by the author can never truly be discerned or wholly understood; the work provides new meaning and essentially a new experience for every reader, sprouting associations beyond the words on the page.  Even as the author intended a specific meaning, once written the text ‘doubles’ – the precise original intention no longer exists as the sole message; it becomes fluid – malleable to everyone. The author no longer plays a role.  Each text exists independently, the essence of the words freshly determined and interpreted by the reader.  A text, once produced, functions as its own entity – open to thoughts, ideas, associations – anything and everything beyond the confines of the page, even ‘outside of writing’ itself. 

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