Monday, April 18, 2011

Joseph, John E. "What If Derrida Was Wrong About Saussure?" TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT April 14, 2011.

Daylight, Russell.  What If Derrida Was Wrong About Saussure?.  Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 2011.

This book is the first systematic analysis of all of Derrida's published pronouncements on Saussure's Cours, including its impassioned rejection of writing as only a secondary representation of language, the arbitrariness of the linguistic sign and the problem of its existence in time. The last is, more precisely, one of the topics pursued seriously by Saussure that Derrida never took up - thus allowing him to depict Saussure as implying certain ideas that in fact he directly rejected.

Daylight patiently combs through the fine silk weave on which Derrida has painted his broad brushstrokes. He leads us step by step through each of Derrida's readings of Saussure, then sometimes back again through the same texts as we proceed to the next set of Derridean claims. Daylight sees his task not as defending Saussure from falsehoods, but showing that Derrida's interpretation is by no means the only possible one. . . .

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