Tuesday, December 9, 2008

After all, he was the walrus.

At the end of this search for values we talked about Derrida. Derrida said “there is nothing outside the text.” All we, as readers, have to go off of is what we have on the page. The author is not there to clarify or explain. This means any text can be de-contextualized and re-contextualized.

This, like existentialism, has been treated as devoid of morality. However, to cite Sartre in defense, we are ultimately responsible for creating meaning. For existentialism and post-modernism to be excuses someone has to chose to make it an excuse. Anyone can make an “ism” into an excuse but they are only cheating themselves (acting in bad faith). Like my earlier comment about Nietzsche’s discussion of Christianity as a crutch, it is only a crutch if someone decides to let it be a crutch.

It is strange to even refer to existential thought and “ism.” The whole point is that you are thinking and by yourself come to conclusions. You are not ascribing to an ideology when you are an existentialist, you are ascribing to your own will. And will, according to Kant is the only good thing, right?

I’ll leave you with a quote from that I thought I understood but now has new meaning for me (how’s that for Derrida?!) So to quote Ferris Buller “-Ism's in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, ‘I don't believe in The Beatles, I just believe in me.’ Good point there.” Good point, indeed.

1 comment:

EJ said...

The point that I see in opposition to this is that, as I stated above in my post, texts are written with some purpose in mind and not just on a whim usually. Even without the author there to tell us what they meant, I believe that there is still context and meaning to it and it is a misconstruing of what was intended to deconstruct it and re-contextualize it to fit our meanings.