Jason Stuart (okokdomodomo) wrote in theorybookclub,
Jason Stuart
okokdomodomo
theorybookclub

"Writing and Difference" p. 278

"Structure, Sign and Play" p. 278

"Nevertheless, up to the event which I wish to mark out and define, structure - or rather the structurality of structure - although it has always been at work, has always been neutralized or reduced, and this by a process of giving it a center or of referring it to a point of presence, a fixed origin."  

I reckon there are two ways of reading this sentence:  "Up to the "event," structure - as in the requirement of language, not what manifests itself when language actually appears - although it has a) always been at work & b) always been neutralized and reduced, and that reduction was the result of referring it back to a point of presence or origin."  

or:

"Up to the 'event,' structure (or what is required of language before language may appear) had always been neutralized and reduced because it is always referred back to an origin, or a presence - even though structure was always there within language, [this presence was credited with conferring meaning]."

They're both pretty similar.  One's more of a sentence.  Obviously the presence/origin idea is a major thread of inquiry for this essay, but I want to consider the "structurality of structure" for a minute to see what he's saying here.  If we see structure as a property of language (a system of signs), then we see structure appearing where (and only where?) language appears, or vice versa - one way of putting it might be more correct than the other.  "Structurality" on the other hand seems to be the structure w/o signifying marks, the formal possibility (and I use that word b/c I'm not really keen on introducing terms such as "ghostly" or "skeletal" at this point) of language, the field to which language adheres.  The field is without value; this becomes important in the sentence following where JD introduces "play" as if structurality was productive - either of meaning (what I would consider a stable structure) or noise (what I would consider a basic instability).  

Whether meaning, noise, or meaningful noise, the presence/origin "neutralizes" the danger, or any instability.  It provides a sort of aura, a sense that identification of value is possible - is that created by the signs or the structurality?  Regardless this aura gets projected beyond the structure and assumes this image of the origin, a force behind meaning.  

How far do we want to go w/ the representation of structurality?  Can we distil it to a sign?  Doesn't that reiterate the process? 
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