Poststructuralism as deconstruction: Jacques Derrida’s Of Grammatology
Jacques Derridas Of Grammatology was first published in French in 1967. It is the most overtly poststructuralist book, since its first part deals explicitly and at length with structuralist theories of language through the works of Ferdinand de Saussure and Roman Jakobson, among others. Of Grammatology develops Derridas deconstruction of Husserl's phenomenology. It also extends the critique of presence in phenomenology, and of nature and essence in structuralist theories of language, into the work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Deconstruction is still structuralism, but opened up and transformed. Poststructuralism must be thought of as deconstruction, and not the opposite. This is because poststructuralism is nothing other than the series of works that have come to define it. Of Grammatology is one of the key works that define poststructuralism. In Of Grammatology, the major arguments working through texts are described as metaphysics, itself defined as onto-theology.