ERIC Number: ED335694
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Chaos in Derrida and Student Texts.
Corbett, Janice M.
Students must learn to maintain authority over their texts as they attempt to deal with the chaos they encounter when they approach a writing task. The authority with which Jacques Derrida deals with chaos in his essay, "...That Dangerous Supplement," suggests some strategies. In his essay, Derrida seems to be able to move the reader back and forth between order and chaos without engendering a state of panic or even a sense of disorganization. He maintains his authority by using strategies which are generally associated with fiction. He co-opts the reader into the story through bonding the reader with the narrator, establishing a plot, and involving fictional characters in a meaningful conflict. The plot involves the fictive Rousseau's attempt to find the presence which is absent in speech. Writing becomes the villain, as it can be viewed as a dangerous supplement to speech, replacing the presence which is absent in writing with an imaginary one. After exposing writing as a seductive reappropriation of presence, Derrida shows that it is not the author but the reader who imposes meaning on the text, and leaves the reader in chaos. Chaos and order do not overtake each other however, but are present at the same time. Fiction resides in all good essays--enabling would-be academic writers to incorporate fictive strategies into their expository writing can be a means of achieving an authoritative voice. (PRA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Composition Theory; Derrida (Jacques); Text Factors
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (42nd, Boston, MA, March 21-23, 1991).