I'm a native Floridian in the United States. In 2015 I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Legal Studies. Before that I was a Creative Writing major for about a year. The reason I didn't stick to the writing degree was because I figured a law degree would be far more useful. This is ironic, considering that post-graduation I'm now an article writer on MAL.
I figured that if I wanted to write there is no education requirement, you just have to write, write, and write. "Keep writing to keep on improving", is advice that one of my English professors gave me.
I've always enjoyed anime, and I have watched quite a lot of it over the years. In fact I enjoy most mediums of entertainment. I've watched quite a lot of films and television. I am a prolific reader, and enjoy multiple genres, my favorite genres would probably be: fantasy, thrillers, historical nonfiction, and sci-fi.
I'm looking forward to writing and evaluating anime, a subject that I am passionate about and love immensely. Also, I am still growing as a writer. I am very open to any constructive criticism and appreciate any feedback. You can contact me at email@example.com.
All Comments (29) Comments
it wasn't biased and explored why exactly it had the reputation it had.
dunno if you'll ever read this or not but if you do i'd like to sincerely thank you for that article.
In other words, I never demanded that you stop.
I merely advised you as you have demonstrated no understanding of the term, its origins, and your unsubstantiated ramblings on its appearance in the 80s demonstrates that there is zero basis to use a word that has no clear history whereas I can tell you, even as someone who does not have a PHD, where this word comes from, what it means, how it has evolved, and how it is used. The inconsistent application of the former by so many people, including by you, where you have defined it two different ways, just shows to me that it is such a terribly conceived term that it should be abandoned by people who don't really know how to use it anyway.
Saying that I am dogmatic about this may have an inkling of truth, in the vein that I would like to see less people think that it is acceptable to use this word in this particular form in any capacity in any respectable academic circle.
Second of all, so where was the word "genre deconstruction" actually used in the 80s and 90s? Subversive content always exists to redefine tropes and change our expectations of them always exist. If you say that it has been used in that capacity, can you please show me? Once again, I have asked at least four times, and you have never responded to me with a single person that has used it in any official academic capacity. People have used the word "deconstruct" but that is different from an actual proper noun.
Third of all, my point has always been to understand what Deconstruction is first. You did not seem to express any awareness of it. In addition, I have told you that Deconstruction arises in numerous contexts and definitions, but the core philosophical tenet remains because that is how academic terms persist. If someone came to me and gave me a definition of socialism that was not about the state controlling the means of production, I would rightfully be telling them they are wrong in utilizing the word. Discourse can never exist when people abuse their linguistic privileges and make up definitions that are definitionally and intellectually bankrupt.
Where did deconstruction mean "to take apart a genre?" Where is the source? Do you know when Derrida lived, because he's older than all the authors that you have stated. Do you have sources that prove this definition? Where's the literary evidence and analysis that was done before Derrida's conception of the term, which by the way was a translation of another term which wasn't even English in origin?
And when did deconstruction mean "take apart?" Once again, it's easy to simply google "deconstruction etymology" and assume that the term has its 19th century origins, but that doesn't take away from the fact that nobody used the term until the 1960s in any literary capacity. If you find a single work of criticism that does, perhaps I may change my mind, but deconstruction is a French term, not an English one.
And see this is the problem. You can't even tell me where genre deconstruction started. You're just saying that it simply evolved to mean a lot more. But if you can't tell me where it comes from, who's responsible for it, then there's no reason to believe that the word has any origin outside of blatantly stealing from Derrida's ideas and misconstruing them. Even a TVTropes article that I was linked clearly states Derrida as the origin of the term, and the interpretation of Derrida in the usage of Deconstruction on that particular site is clear to me, at least, that they have butchered his definition into oblivion.
Of course ideas and criticisms are largely subjective, but in so far as they are subjective, they are always still responsible for responding to criticism. What a silly thing to think, that just because a criticism is subjective, that suddenly that criticism is free from criticism. That is blatantly ignoring your responsibility of a critic, which is to to respond to all forms of criticism, including ones that attempt to undermine your point. I find it hilarious that you use words like "sophist" when you are essentially using blatant sophistry and buzzwords to ignore my point against your argument.
I did not write off your "best-selling writers" and "Hugo winners." You simply stated that those works are deconstructions without ever stating a single piece of analysis or word by the authors themselves that they think that what they did is a "deconstruction." I even asked you to give me the podcast number because I'm not going to look through every single one just to show you that what they said is incompatible with your point, but you simply ignored that. Perhaps you simply chose not to read the majority of my posts, or maybe you didn't understand them. I don't know. How could I know?
And please, I don't need your condescending tone. Of course words change over their cycle, but when they arise out of misunderstandings, then I see great cause for concern. There is no applicability of deconstruction in this particular conception. It's a pointless exercise, and as I stated before, if your article was trying to argue that Monster was a deconstruction of the monster genre, I believe it does a very unconvincing job. It does a good job in explaining the themes of the work and identifying what Monster can be about, but as far as a deconstruction goes, even by your own definition it is horribly unsuited. Your only argument is that it deconstructs the monster genre in Hollywood films like Jaws and Alien. How? Because the monsters appear very often in those movies and in Monster Johan is always in the background?
What argument is that? By your very own logic of deconstruction, a deconstruction must subvert genres by following them to their logical conclusions. Well first of all, subversion does not necessarily imply that we are following things to their logical conclusion so there's another deficiency in the definition already, and secondly, how is the monster appearing very rarely a "logical" conclusion of the monster genre?
Again, this theme of "the actual monsters are ourselves," is such a pervasive theme in fiction, and such a pervasive theme in monster and horror works in general. Monster was not the first work to identify that perhaps the true enemy, the true monster, the true horror is humanity. Just look at Frankenstein. Is that a deconstruction of all the monster fictions and tales that we have seen in the past, that it identifies that the true monsters are the humans who fabricate the myths and legends that ironically haunt us?
I mean, how many more inconsistencies do I need to find?
As far as Deconstruction is concerned, art is indeed subjective, but ideas of criticism are not. They exist within the realm of objective fact. This is what a term actually means and people who misconstrue particular points in Deconstruction should not be allowed to recreate terms to suit their needs when clearly other words in English dictionary would suffice. Once again, if someone demonstrated a clear understanding of Derrida's Difference, Of Grammatology, and other writings, perhaps I may be more receptive if they wished to utilize the term, but clearly in this discussion, you did not demonstrate you were astutely "aware" of the topic.
And oh jeez, a discussion of homonyms. Look, if you're going to argue with me about language, please don't try to bring up this nonsense argument. I have heard it so many times and each time it gets more tiresome and annoying. While language ebbs and flows, academic terminology rarely changes, because the application of language requires certain words to stay defined rigorously in order for language to be effective. This argument that people are allowed to use language because of this idea that language is an oh-so-expressive construct that changes as our subjective understanding changes is such populist drivel and completely misses the point that while language can certainly change, certain topics never change because they can't change.
Do you ever see someone have two definitions for capitalism? How about of the word aesthetics? These are formal words that have specific definitions and origins. There's a reason why structuralism doesn't change and why we say "post-structuralism" or "post-modernism" because we don't replace the term "modernism" with a new definition. It's why we add "neo" to the end of capitalism, marxism, facisism, because it's intellectually bankrupt to suddenly change a word's definition because we, for whatever reason, believe that language allows us to. It's the same way with Deconstruction. The application of the term in its current abomination is either people misreading Derrida or thinking that the adverbial abstraction of a verb is analogous to said verb.
Finally, stop using the word "dogmatic," because that's painting the discourse incorrectly. Deconstruction is still relevant today in law, philosophy, literary circles and more. In fact, Deconstruction has often meant different things to different academic critiques. The Deconstruction of Derrida is different from the way Barthes describes it, or the way that Paul de Mann describes it, or the way that Derrida's opponents described it. Not only is it not some sort of archaic word of the past, where terms like "plastic" used to mean completely different things to the rubbery material that we know of today, but it continues to be utilized in academia in different ways while keeping the core tenets and concepts alive. I don't hold a dogmatic definition of the term, I hold the right idea of the term.
As for the words you use....my goodness. You can trace the etymology of these words and see why they arise. For the first two examples:
Platonic is easy to explain. In Plato's Symposium, there is a section on a discussion of love. Hence, the word platonic meaning a non-sexual relationship arises from there.
Lead. First of all, this is not a homonym, because when you pronounce it as to mean "be in charge," it is pronounced as "leed."
Again, it's the applicability of language that makes it known that we are talking about a particular definition. If I said "I drank lead" or "she and I share a platonic relationship," everyone would know what I am referring to. This is why academic terms and their applicability rarely changes. In this sense, if I said "X anime is a Deconstruction," that creates a complete conflict in understanding.
In addition, can you trace the etymology of this current conception of Deconstruction? Where did it come from? Who popularized it? The term "Deconstruction" as is rightfully applied has an origin. It was not even a real word but was created by academics who followed Derrida. Prior to him, the word "deconstruction" was never a term utilized by anyone in any major capacity.
I can clearly trace the definitions of the homonyms you bring up, but I can't say the same for Deconstruction. All I can think of is people misread Derrida and came up with an absolutely terrible new definition that is completely unreliable, subjective, and people debate about it to this day because they have zero clear understanding of what it is about.
Once again, nobody owns the right to a word (but why you cite Saussure when he wasn't even alive before deconstruction was coined is anyone's guess. also deconstruction was a derridean idea but the term itself was introduced not by Derrida but by others who followed in his footsteps), but people shouldn't have access to the word if they do not understand why they are using it. Can you google the word deconstruction and find a credited definition that does not have a Derridean origin? If so, then why talk about "genre deconstruction" when deconstruction is diametrically opposed to the very existence of a genre?
In addition, you're basing the legitimacy of people writing about deconstruction on college essays (by students) and texts that you haven't even read? Most of these essays simply use the word "deconstructing" which is not the same as deconstruction. This is why people need to be careful when using words, because adding the suffix "tion" does not create abstractions that are one-to-one synonymous with the verbs they are abstracting. I can point to credited college professors and essays who do literary analysis for a living who actually use deconstructive arguments correctly in everything from Aristotle's Metaphysics to Bram Stoker's Dracula.
Also, which podcast are you referring to? The link you sent me has multiple podcasts, and I'm not going to listen to each and every one of them to find out which one they talk about deconstruction in.
Furthermore, your definition of deconstruction:
"To take apart, (deconstruct) and to analyze traditional genre expectations and subvert them by exploring them to their logical conclusion."
In other words, you could just use the word "subversion" and nothing of relevance would change.
The problem with genre deconstruction is nobody is consistent with its application and definition. It is a term that has sprung forth from nothing. Only certain works get privilege of being called deconstructions, and the greatest error is saying that, for whatever reason, a deconstruction seeks to portray the realistic conclusions of a particular trope. That, in itself, just sounds extremely subjective and unreliable, which adds another layer to why the term is so atrocious.
I could go further and undermine your argument by simply saying that Monster does not belong to the monster genre, but that is a separate issue entirely. The idea that we humans are the monsters is such a pervasive idea, and if that were the only barometer for a "genre deconstruction," then there is a long list of works that belong in that particular category.
Where are the great authors, filmmakers, critics, others who use the term "deconstruction?" I would like to see them, because I have read criticism by people who use deconstruction who have used it correctly. I have read the literary analysis, post-colonial criticism, gender criticism, and other schools of thought that have properly used the term.
What does Deconstruction mean to you, in terms of literary analysis? Unless you are going to tell me that Deconstruction is, on a simple level, about studying binary hierarchies in fiction and demonstrating that these binaries are inherently unstable, subjective, and unreliable, then you are not using the term correctly from an analytical perspective.
I mean, to even speak in terms of these authors breaking down "genres" is to always-already be in immersed in the logocentric atmosphere of presence, which is the antithesis of the deconstructive process.