“Of Grammatology” Summary and Illustration
According to Rivkin and Ryan “Deconstruction” is another name for Post-structuralism; a name that is associated with Jacques Derrida (257). Derrida is arguably the most
influential critic in the movement. His work expands on the work of the Structuralism, but at the same time significantly deviates from it into its own critical movement.
According to M. A. Beedham, Derrida was born a Jew in a French-occupied Algiers. He had many breaks in his education, as a result of the Nazi-influenced rule in his homeland.
He eventually made his way to Paris for his graduate education, where he met and was influenced by Focault, as well as his own work in translations of Husserl. Some of his writings
include: Writing and Difference, Of Grammatology, and Speech and Phenomenon (Rivkin and Ryan 257)
Literary Theory: An Anthology includes several excerpts from Derrida’s writing, including an excerpt from Of Grammatology, which is summarized in this paper. The excerpt addresses
the limits of metaphysical philosophy, which pre-supposes the existence of ideas prior to their expression in language. Most of the discussion in the excerpt is devoted to challenging the
assumptions of “presence” in the ideas of classical, as well as some more modern philosophers.
Derrida starts by establishing the centrality of the problematic conceptions of language. He then demonstrates the transference of language in general into writing, showing that
writing has come to dominate the method of all linguistic analysis. He discusses the ways in which writing has always been criticized because of its separation, in traditional philosophical
thinking, from the ideas, which are initially expressed in vocal words. Thus writing becomes, in traditional thinking, representation of the spoken language, which is itself a representation of
ideas. Derrida questions the notion that spoken language is...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document