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Rex Sorgatz

I'm not passive aggressive. I'm aggressively passive.

nov 4
2008

Aporia

I sure wasn't expecting to see Derrida invoked in the financial crisis debacle in this week's New Yorker!

For anyone who studied literature in college in the past few decades, there is a weird familiarity about the current crisis: value, in the realm of finance capital, evokes the elusive nature of meaning in deconstructionism. According to Jacques Derrida, the doyen of the school, meaning can never be precisely located; instead, it is always "deferred," moved elsewhere, located in other meanings, which refer and defer to other meanings -- a snake permanently and necessarily eating its own tail. This process is fluid and constant, but at moments the perpetual process of deferral stalls and collapses in on itself. Derrida called this moment an "aporia," from a Greek term meaning "impasse." There is something both amusing and appalling about seeing his theories acted out in the world markets to such cataclysmic effect.

5 comments

The consequent question is, "Can we bailout grammar by returning to Modism?"

posted by Andrew Simone at 12:52 PM on November 4, 2008

(I should also add that I've seen several people cite this as making the case for deconstruction/postmodernism being to "blame" for the crisis. Clearly, this is not the case; if anything, it's a tool of prediction, or at least understanding.)

posted by Rex at 1:05 PM on November 4, 2008

good, because i was starting to worry i would have to make a cool 3d animated video to explain it

posted by danley at 2:33 AM on November 5, 2008

semiotics? derrida? when did fimoculous become a lit crit blog?

posted by ryan at 2:16 PM on November 5, 2008

Unsuprisingly, that's a stunning mis-reading of Derrida. Pretentious, to boot (as is this comment).

posted by Kevin at 2:38 AM on November 8, 2008




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