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Deconstruction: Theory and Practice (New Accents)

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  100 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews

Deconstruction: Theory and Practice has been acclaimed as by far the most readable, concise and authoritative guide to this topic. Without oversimplifying or glossing over the challenges, Norris makes deconstruction more accessible to the reader. The volume focuses on the works of Jacques Derrida which caused this seismic shift in critical thought, as well as the work of N

Paperback, 196 pages
Published August 8th 1991 by Routledge (first published January 1st 1982)
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Mark Bowles
Aug 30, 2014 Mark Bowles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A. Introduction
1. What is deconstruction? It is neither a harmless academic game nor a terrorist weapon. Beneath all traditional literary criticism there has been an agreement about certain conventions or rules of debate without which it would be impossible to discuss literature. The central convention was that literature possessed meaning and that literary criticism sought to understand that meaning. Deconstruction challenges the distinction between literature and criticism. Criticism becomes a
Jan 20, 2013 Simon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best early studies of deconstruction (first published in 1982), Norris displays an engaging, clear, memorable writing style which nicely and succinctly covers Derrida, Nietzsche, the Yale School and others… regarding the Nietzschean critique of Socratic reason, Norris remarks:

"Nietzsche’s response is not to deny the potential aberrations of rhetoric but to argue, on the contrary, that Socrates himself is a wily rhetorician who scores his points by sheer tactical cunning. Behind all t
Mar 26, 2009 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-theory
While this book, like other introductions to deconstruction, comments on the work of thinkers like Jacques Derrida and Paul De Man, it differs from the others in a number of instances. For example, it includes a discussion of Robert M. Pirsig’s popular work Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, which Norris rightly sees as a deconstructive approach to traditional philosophical values.
an effective introductory presentation. perhaps 'totalizes' a bit too much by attempting to generalize concepts applicable to the grammatology or to essays in margins or dissemination across the entirety of a spectrum known as 'deconstruction.' that's not in itself a bad thing, as it's cool to bring some order to these texts, which, when read as a group, appear to be a chaotic jumble of local interventions without much universal purchase--what, after all, is the value of a linguistics reading of ...more
Jun 15, 2012 Aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great primer on deconstruction. Writing style is amazingly clear and concise. The first two chapters read almost as intriguingly as a mystery novel. I couldn't put it down! Things get a little muddled by the end. A discussion of Marx and Nietzsche that was hard to follow and very brief overviews of the convoluted American deconstructionists makes the ending pretty difficult to get through. But a good read overall, especially if you want a quick introduction to deconstruction that is scholarly an ...more
Alan Wilkes
After this book, and an introduction in a rhetoric course I took last year, I feel ready to start reading Derrida's work. Nolan does a good job of introducing the basic ideas of a theoretician that many describe as obscure at best an unintelligible at worst. Nolan's introduction is worth the time and is a much quicker read than anything I have read by Derrida himself. Derrida's work is worth your attention because all the cool kids are reading him and you want to be one of the cool kids...right? ...more
May 03, 2013 A.N. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A helpful book as an introduction to deconstruction, although far from being efficient. The second and third postscripts reveal the reason why the book requires substantial revision and re-writing, especially in chapters related to Nietzsche and Marx. Though this defect can be overlooked in light of the fact that Norris is a pioneer in such thorough yet simplified introduction on the subject, it no longer fails to decrease its value among many better books written thenceforth. A good option to b ...more
Ben Kearvell
If there's one thing I've learned from this book it's that, if you want to understand Derrida and Co., you can't rely on a single primer. Not that this a bad book. It shows that deconstruction can be deployed in a variety of ways, and that there can be no single account of a deconstructed text. That's pretty much the point of deconstruction.
A good introduction to Derrida. Bad treatment of J.L. Austin and Wittgenstein. I think they present a serious challenge to Derrida that neither Norris nor Derrida seem to take seriously.
Katie Edmonds
Aug 30, 2007 Katie Edmonds rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
well written with a great reference section.
easy to read. easy to follow. nice treatment of a complex and hard to pin down subject.
Aug 01, 2009 Scott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm reading this for the second time in preparation for grad school. It's clearly written and easy to follow, which can't always be said of texts about literary criticism.
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As of 2007 he is Distinguished Research Professor in Philosophy at Cardiff University. He completed his PhD in English at University College London in 1975, while Sir Frank Kermode served as the Lord Northcliffe Professor of modern English literature there.

Until 1991 Norris taught in the Cardiff English Department. He has also held fellowships and visiting appointments at a number of institutions,
More about Christopher Norris...

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