Posted by rainer ganahl on August 04, 1996 at 12:35:21:
In Reply to: said, reply 1 /retake 10/26/95 posted by rg posted by stephan pascher on August 04, 1996 at 12:32:24:
Msg#:19416 *TALK SHOW*
From: Rainer Ganahl
To: Stephan Pascher (Rcvd)
Subj: Reply to Msg# 15514 (RS)
I am very confused by your projection of deconstruction onto Said's text! The
last thing Said's text is about is deconstruction. Theory that is informed by
so-called deconstruction which gets excited with the moving around of letters
for "e(a)ffects" and self-indulges with words like "translation" and
"misreading" doesn't have anything to do with the problematics Said addresses.
In fact when Said criticizes Foucault's theory of power, he says something that I would like to immediately also hold against the type of writing that is so proliferate in contemporary American institutions infected with deconstruction:
"political quietism with sophisticated intellectualism, at the same time
wishing to appear realistic, in touch with the world of power and reality, as
well as historical and antiformalistic in their bias" (p. 245).
As you repeat, Said's text asks what it does to the text when the text is
traveling from context to context, place to place and time to time. But he
doesn't ask this question for the sake of the text, but for what people do with texts, the relationship of theoretical work and reality - and of course, only in this intersticious space critical consciousness can develop - and I don't think that it is so difficult to decide what critical consciousness is as most of the deconstructivists want to make it look like when doing their cosmetic work of meditating pre-in-or suffixes. (and don't forget, that in the most reactionary philosophical circles of Pre-World War II in Germany, people like Klages and Heidegger didn't do anything else but playing with word beginnings and word endings that is so inviting with the German language and its ethymologies). For Said, as much as I understand it, it is not so much a
question what critical consciousness is (one finds out very easily by its
consequences) but how it is suppressed, opposed, absorbed, coopted and made
into the opposite of "an unstoppable predilection for alternatives" - and of
course, this all depends and changes with the historical situations.
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