deconstruction for dummies

Think back to the last argument you had in a relationship. When a couple fights, they are practising deconstruction like the best of them. There’s a French phrase for the inevitable imbalance in relationships – il y a toujours un qui baise et un qui tend la joue – which means there’s always one person doing the kissing and the other offering their cheek. Well, similarly in rows, there is one person deconstructing while the other presents the text, usually in a defensive, stonewalling kind of way. The upset person, the reader in this instance, tackles the text they’ve been given with a manic pernickety attention, picking away at the words or phrases used, pouncing on sly little omissions, tying the other’s words up in knots with the full intention of proving that their discourse is flawed through and through, that they mean the opposite of what they say, or that at the very least, there is no coherent and credible position beneath the surface offering. Just about anything is open for attack – the way the other person is standing, the shifty look they’re giving, the nervous jangling of loose change in pocket. It’s all ripe for deconstruction. There’s only one way this can end: with one person’s argument in tatters, as far as the other person is concerned. And that, my friends, is theory in practice.


musste weinen weil ich endlich dekonstruktion verstanden habe; werde ab sofort immer darauf hinweisen, wenn ich mich streite.

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