With the publication of deconstructive ideas of Derrida in ‘Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences’, the old humanist model came to an end in 1966, as Derrida’s concept of this “event” that threw out the ideas of a “centre” resulted in the fact that everything is provisional and hence no positive or definitive meaning can ever be possible in any system. The concept of deconstruction and post-structuralism that displaced the idea of god, truth, self and meaning in order to replace them with relativism, ambiguity and multiplicity, has tempted many to lament the decline the death of Humanist model. According to some people, this is EXACTLY what’s wrong with the world today’. And there a desire has been formed to wind back all these events related to deconstructive approach which is represented in the concluding lines of a professor: If only we could returned to the old fashioned values of humanism, and believe in absolute truth, fixed meaning, and permanence everything would be OK – or at least a lot better than it is now
“This in fact indicates that many are aware about the “crisis” that has sprung to the ground after Derrida’s declaration that a text can’t have “a meaning”. This in fact rised the question mark, over the validity of all works of art that want to express something and which is constantly “deffered” in meaning (as Derrida sees it) and hence they totally fail to reach their aim. They thus lost their validity. Moreover, the deconstructive relativism projected a clear-cut argument against the validity of “criticisms of these works of art” (as well as literary criticism) as there can be infinite view points, due to free play of text and meaning and hence, no criticism stands valid, which results in the death of it. No scale of standard in the literary criticism (that since the time of Plato) could have transcended this conflict and hence deconstruction has proved the efforts by humanists of hundreds of years, as useless labour, as ultimately there is no fixity in meaning.
So , like any medium of art, literature also faces a dead end. This has blocked the natural flow of it and has forced many to ask “Now to where?” This is in fact the “crisis” that threatens us about a future where there would be the “death of literature” and the “suicide of expression”.
Now I must come to my point – is there any solution? Is there any way out? Many agree that if we only we could return to old traditional theories regarding criticism and literature (also expressions in general) perhaps, we can carry on those previous humanistic discussions, expressions to future. And after all, such ‘dynamism’ in discourses is the flow of expressions, which ultimately can be termed as the life of all literature, thoughts and philosophies. And such an attitude can save the future-literature or future-expressions.
But the question that whether we can return to that old model or not, is fundamental to our issue. And the probability of this is more in negative than in affirmative. It is because, this humanistic model is based on the hypothesis that there must be a centre 9this consciousness of centre was first discovered by the structuralists, long time since it has been used — from the very beginning man was able to think ). In other words there must be some base on which a theory can be developed – this ‘foundation’ is sometimes termed as a “centre”. A centre is ‘ a point which everything comes, and to which everything refers or returns’. And humanists (also structuralists) have assigned a fixed meaning (something absolute) to this centre. But this was discarded by deconstructionists, bystating that there can’t be a single value assigned to this centre (as well as to any element of the whole system). And this ‘idea’ (i.e. deconstruction theory) has since 1966, become a part of our consciousness, which opposes, everytime we attempt to go back to humanist model. This has become such a part of our consciousness, which can not be deleted or ignored with out a proper logic. As we search for this ‘logic’ , we create a system structure which itself is prone to deconstruction, making all our labour futile.
But if we, without any logic, try to force our belief systems to go back to old humanistic model, we won’t be either successful. Derrida himself won’t be either successful. Derrida himself crated a concept where the critic ignored the need of logic to pursue his goal. This is known as “bricolage”, where the “bricoleur” (the person searching for a solution ) jumps over both structuralist and deconstructive model according to his need – just to reach his goal.. Hence we have now just three ways left:
1) Either not to believe in ‘Deconstruction’ just blindly (with out searching for the logic to delete it, which is more or less done by a Bricolage) and follow old model.
2) Search for a “logic” to eliminate the concept of ‘Deconstruction’ that would be valid in all systems or find the logic to make a correlation between old model and the deconstructive model.
3) Do nothing, and witness the death of expression in coming times, where there would be no logic, no meaning flux.
As a rebel, with born instincts to express ourselves (as death of expression means death of us!) we can not accept to become helpless and follow the last of the above mentioned paths. Again we have seen that we can not ignore ‘deconstructive model’ just blindly, as we in our consciousness would be aware of falseness in following the old models. So, the only way left is to search for a logic that would provide a freedom from the concept of ‘meaninglessness’ of deconstruction. And what I have tried to do is that I have opted for the second path.
Why none has been succeeded in finding a logic (by adopting this way for solution) is that whenever a logic is searched, it automatically creates a belief system ( or philosophical system) which is at once deconstructed. Due to collapse of the structure the search for logic becomes illogical itself. And hence the search fails.
To prevent this I opted for such a system, where the centre remains stable in meaning and it has no binary opposition to it. Thus the centre can’t be thrown out from the system which results in the fact that it limits the free-play of the system and thus prevents it from collapsing. This leads to make the system deconstruction-proof.
Then the next step I have taken is that in this I have placed all the old models which essentially structural models and new deconstructionist models (which oppose the structural models) as binary opposite as sub-systems. I call my bigger structure (inside which sub- structures are placed) as ‘Super structure’ . Now as my super-structure is a deconstructive-proof structure, it is stable and the binary opposition remains valid inside it due to absence of the free play. Now this leads to a ‘scandal-free system’ (i.e. no element with dual values or dual opposition present in them, can exist inside my superstructure). Thus, this is a system where we can prevent the crisis and can assign a co-relation between the old and new systems.
Now the question is , to build such a super structure which element of a system can be placed as centre? Which element of a system doesn’t have a binary opposition (so that deconstructionists can not blur this distinction to collapse the structure)? And also, is there any element that observes the above mentioned conditions along with the requirements of becoming a ‘centre’, such as it must be in and out of the structure/ system ?
Before naming such a centre to build my superstructure, so what I will do is that I will first make some primary duty of assigning definitions and explanations and expose some relationship among the elements of the ‘universe’, because this will help us to recognize such an element that can be made centre of any system – an ultimate reference point.
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(c) Samir K. Dash, 2004,
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