Oct. 10, 2021 • 1 min
Deconstruction - the method which claims there is no single explanation of the meaning of a piece of writing - in and of itself, is almost dead, but it retains enormous influence on current critical thinking. While deconstruction itself peaked in the late 1970s, an evolving version of deconstruction has been absorbed by later thinking and often remains crucial to, and even taken for granted by, contemporary cultural and literary criticism. The founding figure and the intellectual force behind deconstruction was Jacques Derrida. His first widely influential book, Of Grammatology, appeared in French in 1967, and many of his later writings recast or extend the ideas of Of Grammatology for other contexts and issues. Advocates and popularisers saw his ideas as so revolutionary that they put him in the same light as Copernicus, Newton, Einstein, and Freud. Although Derrida was primarily a philosopher, his work had little impact on philosophy until after its shock wave hit literary studies. Deconstruction has since carried its influence far beyond literary studies, not only to philosophy but also to all of the humanities and often to the social sciences.