October 1, 2012


After reading and attending class lecture on Jacques Derrida's Differance I sort of felt a little weird. Not to say that Derrida's Differance is weird, but the fact that even after an extensive discussion on the essay I still left with the same amount of knowledge that I came in with. I felt that the article itself kept adding on to what already seems like a quite advanced concept that kept getting revised throughout. We are introduced to differance, which should not be confused with its e-counterpart difference because difference is a concept not a word (279). This in itself is a difficult concept to take in since our minds constantly want to rationalize whatever we see and if one sees a word that is extremely similar to another word like difference, which we most likely know what it means.

I did not entirely understand this essay but some of the concepts introduced were explained pretty well. "The a of differance, therefore, is not heard, it remains silent, secret, and discreet, like a tomb" (280). The essay also introduced other words that added to help further our understanding of differance like assemblage. "The word assemblage seems more apt for suggesting that the kind of bringing together proposed here has the structure of interlacing, a weaving, or a web, which would allow the different threads and different lines of sense or force to separate again, as well as being ready to bind others together" (280). This word helps us understand his idea that the difference between differance and difference is through written or read rather than heard.

What through me for a loop was some of the statements that were introduced to us right after he proclaimed a certain stance on a subject. "I will say, first of all, that differance, which is neither a word nor a concept, seemed to me to be strategically the theme most proper to think out..." (283). This was a little jarring to read since he just said that differance is a concept not a word. He also throws out words that he even states that he never used before, "all the concepts I will sum up here in a word I have never used but which could be added to this series: temprtalizing" (283). I have several questions that I would like answered about this essay but one that I feel is most important is the idea of what exactly is the definition of diffarance, or the final version?

Is it, "differance is what makes the movement of signification possible only if each element that is said to be "present," appearing on the stage of presence, is related to something other than itseld but retains the mark of a past element and already lets itself be hollowed out by the mark of its relation to a future element" (287)? or is it, "the word "differance" can be used in other ways too; first of all, because it denotes the only activity of primordial difference but also the temporalizing detour of deffering" (288)? What the hell does that mean??? I also find it funny that he ended the section we were suppose to read with a question just like I asked, "What is differance?"(288).

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