"Derrida sees signifying force in the gaps, margins, figures, echoes, digressions, discontinuities, contradictions, and ambiguities of a text. When one writes, one writes more than (or less than, or other than) one thinks. The reader's task is to read what is written rather than simply attempt to intuit what might have been meant." Professor John Lye.
What does that mean? Language is something of
our own, and can define ourselves. If you haven´t had the oportunity
of recieving a good education, reading... your language is certainly influenced
by that. The more you read or study, the bigger your lexic field becomes.
I think that you agree with me when I say that writters have dominion over
the language and they have the oportunity of chosing the words they want
to use and not others. If we take poetry as an example, in a poem, Why
did the poet chose one word and not another that we may see synonimous?
Is it because of the rythm? Could be, but the author could also have other
reasons unknown for us. We will take now an advertisement to ilustrate
it, a cleaning powder advertisement. We see a student (a boy) at home.
He doesn´t live with his parents but with some friends. He takes
a clean white T-shirt out of a washing maschine and says: "My mum won´t
belive it, she won´t have to wash my clothes any moe".
Is it just casualty that the one who cleans the T-shirt is a boy and lives without his family because he is studying in another town? I don´t think so. What I have just done is reading the gaps (at least that is what I think).
In the same why when we try to study a literary creation as the deconstructive movement understand it, we have to descover the gaps. I don´t want you to misunderstood my words with this example, it is just an ilustration. Some of the gaps (like the one mentioned in the example) may be intentioned,but there will be others that may won´t be. One of the reasons for these unintentioned gaps could be the education of the author, but there´s another reason, nobody can say everything, there will always be something else to say. As we have already seen, the aims of the deconstructive movement is pointing these gaps.
I find this method really interesting when studying a book or an article, but I think we should be careful. I don´t agree with the quotation in that we should just read, and not interpret what is written. I think that we can read and try to extract some information from what is written (and also from what isn´t written) and make our own interpretations, but we should always bear in mind that our conclusions could be different from the author´s conclusions, specially if we take a paragraph out of its context. If we take the text and we try it to say something the author didn´t thought about it, in my opinion we are creating a new text and it is not longer from its author but ours, we have created a new text without changing a single word.
It would have been interesting trying to analyse a text or a book having this movement as a guide for the critic, but that would have required more time than I have. As I understand it, everybody can study a book trying to find the gaps and give interpretations to it, as long as they understand that it is their interpretation and that they cannot impose it to anybody.
Academic year 1998/1999
a.r.e.a./ Dr. Vicente Forés López
Inés Cuesta Cañada
Universitat de València Press.