'Good for nothing': rethinking deconstruction and modernism

Farrant, Marc (2014) 'Good for nothing': rethinking deconstruction and modernism. (MA(R) thesis), Kingston University, .


This project argues that modernism, conceived as a specific philosophical concept, both embodies and illustrates Jacques Derrida's use and notion of literature, and that by analysing this notion an explication of the political efficacy of 'Deconstruction' can be drawn. Further, I contend that a deconstructive reading of modernism as concept greatly increases the term's applicability and comprehension, enabling interesting insights into the relation between politics and aesthetics. This project analyses modernism via a variety of critics and theorists, alongside Derrida's writings on literature and others concepts. 1 then engage with the work of Jean-Francois Lyotard, Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin and Jacques Ranciere ~highlighting specific texts and instances of affinity and compatibility with Derrida, arguing for an extractable- albeit aporetic-deconstructive logic (illustrated through the historical and temporal terms and determinants that constitute modernism). This project concludes with an analysis of the contemporary debate surrounding the legacy of deconstruction in the. form of Martin Hagglund's recent work, and an apparent conflict between ethical and political readings of Derrida's work. The project hopes to hint at the direction of further avenues of research and point to fertile arenas of aflinity and relation between Derrida's project of deconstruction and other modes of existent and emerging European thought.

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