Jacques Derrida - De la grammatologie
Jacques Derrida once again forces me to confront the question... why does he write like that?
It does make the experience of reading in a second language even more difficult, but I will maintain my commitment as I do wish to practice my French. Moreover, the English translations of his work are often hardly more comprehensible, as they drip with having been originally been written in French. Oh well!
Finally returning back to this after letting my mine get occupied with Matters. Enjoying so far.
I had never realized that Saussure was such a hater. I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.
I return to Derrida after getting occupied with Hegel and Stirner. I missed him; he is so often inscrutable (unfortunately), but then one reads a certain paragraph after which one cannot help but sit for a minute and let the words enter into one's soul.
I have finished the first part: I wish I had been more scrupulous in my noting so far, but it is too late now. I will say that I think he is right in saying that writing systems are both phonographic and ideographic to varying degrees, and I'm enjoying his pointing out the metaphysical assumptions upon which even "scientific" understandings base themselves. I have good expectations for the rest of this book.
I like what he has to say about proper names and the very otherness of naming. I myself always hesitated to "properly" name characters in stories, as it felt like violence to me. This is spurring me to think on the topic further.
Also very interesting points about the role of ethnocentrism in thought on language and writing, even in ethnologists who would like to take a benevolent position.
Enamoured with his concept of "writing which is already a form of reading". I'm reminded of when I was considered translation and felt that it was in itself a form of literary criticism. Quite a fan of how Derrida is taking apart Rousseau's naturalism, picking apart the semantic construction of nature and how what Rousseau decries as unnatural must exist for nature to even be considered.
Marathoned today (41 pages). I actually hadn't learned much of Rousseau before now, so this is my main introduction to his focus on pity. I have to say I can't stand him. He has awful opinions about nationality and the teaching of languages; yes, a language does go with the thought of a nations, and that's why it's incredibly important to learn another language! Anyways, a very fascinating deconstruction of the senselessness of Rousseau's conception of the natural and its metaphysical idealism.
Reading this is just making me more mad at Rousseau and his AWFUL musical opinions. Harmony is lovely! To call "degeneration" of music that which allows one voice to join with something beyond itself is terrible.
Finished. Writing as play...