- Yale school (deconstruction)
The Yale school is a colloquial name for an influential group of literary critics, theorists, and philosophers of
literaturethat were influenced by Jacques Derrida's philosophy of deconstruction. Many of the theorists were affiliated with Yale Universityin the late 1970s, although a number of the theorists -- including Derridahimself -- subsequently moved to or became affiliated with the University of California at Irvine.
Relationship to deconstruction
As a school of thought, the Yale school is more closely allied with the
post-structuralistdimensions of deconstruction as opposed to its phenomenological dimensions. Additionally, the Yale school is more similar to the 1970s version of deconstruction that John D. Caputohas described as a "Nietzschean free play of signifiers" and not the 1990s version of deconstruction that was far more concerned with political and ethical questions. [(2002) Raschke, Carl "Loosening Philosophy’s Tongue: A Conversation with Jack Caputo" http://www.jcrt.org/archives/03.2/caputo_raschke.shtml] [(2006) Zizek, Slavoj "A Plea for a Return to Differance (with a minor 'Pro Domo Sua')" "Critical Inquiry" 32 (2): 226-249 ]
During the period between the late 1960s and the early 1980s,
Yale Universitywas the home of a variety of thinkers that were indebted to deconstruction. The group included high-profile writers such as Paul de Man, Geoffrey Hartman, J. Hillis Miller, and Harold Bloom. This group came to be known as the "Yale school" and was especially influential in literary criticism because de Man, Miller, and Hartman were all considered to be prominent literary critics. The four critics listed above, along with Derrida, contributed to an influential anthology, "Deconstruction and Criticism".
Deconstruction and Criticism (1979)
In his introduction to "Deconstruction and Criticism", Hartman draws a distinction between Derrida, Miller, and de Man on the one hand, and himself and Bloom on the other. The former category he refers to as "boa-deconstructors" [Bloom, Harold, et al. "Deconstruction and Criticism" (New York: Continuum, 1979), ix.] who pursue deconstruction to its utmost conclusions and who are more philosophically rigorous in their writings.
Hartman claims that both himself and Bloom are "barely deconstructionists" and that they "even write against it on occasion." [ "Deconstruction and Criticism", ix.] Hartman claims that his writing style in particular is more reliant on the traditional role of
pathosas a fundamental impetus for literary language. In contrast, deconstruction as advocated by Derrida seeks to reveal that the very notion of pathos is caught up in the rhetorical play which is endemic to language.
*(1973) "“Speech and Phenomena” and Other Essays on Husserl’s Theory of Signs",
*(1976) "Of Grammatology",
*(1978) "Writing and Difference",
*(1979) "Deconstruction and Criticism"
*(1982) "Allegories of Reading: Figural Language in Rousseau, Nietzsche, Rilke, and Proust",
Paul de Man
*(1983) "On Deconstruction: Theory and Criticism after Structuralism",
*(1983) "The Yale Critics: Deconstruction in America", Jonathan Arac, Wlad Godzich, Wallace Martin, editors.
*(1985) "Rhetoric and Form: Deconstruction at Yale", Robert Con Davis and Ronald Schleifer, editors.
*(1989) "Memoires for Paul de Man",
*(1992) "Acts of Literature",
*(1994) "The Wake of Deconstruction",
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