10. Deconstruction I

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Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300)

In this lecture on Derrida and the origins of deconstruction, Professor Paul Fry explores two central Derridian works: "Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of Human Sciences" and "Différance." Derrida's critique of structuralism and semiotics, particularly the work of Levi-Strauss and Saussure, is articulated. Deconstruction's central assertions that language is by nature arbitrary and that meaning is indeterminate are examined. Key concepts, such as the nature of the text, discourse, différance, and supplementarity are explored.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Origins and Influence of Jacques Derrida
06:33 - Chapter 2. Derrida's Style
09:25 - Chapter 3. The Eiffel Tower and Wallace Stevens' "Anecdote of the Jar"
17:00 - Chapter 4. Levi-Strauss and the Oedipus Myth
22:39 - Chapter 5. Derrida and Semiotic Science
28:13 - Chapter 6. "Event" and History
33:42 - Chapter 7. Language and Writing
42:34 - Chapter 8. Language, Supplementarity, and Différance

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2009.