Language and Art share many similar tendencies. In language, as with earlier forms of Art, representation plays a large role. Language acts as a representation of some elaborate envisioned concept(s), Writing as a representation of a sounded phonic language, and Art as a representation of some subject(s). Within these mediums exist elements that make Art and Language and, by extension, Writing successful. ese are the signifiers. e signifiers are built imperfectly, they summon up signs other than those intended based on frequency of usage, misusage and place contextually. ey are influenced by a multitude of extra-textual forces. It is from these axioms, that Structuralism and thence, Deconstructivism take form.
Jacques Derrida introduces the misspelled ‘différance’ as concept to account for the deferred nature of Language. He raises the idea of difference possessing two functions: as ‘a distinction, inequality, or discernibility’ that creates a non-identity between two units of Language, and an ‘interval of a spacing and temporalising’ that defers a ‘sameness’ between two units (279). e latter of the two takes the misspelling as the oen silent definition of difference. e différance admits a difficulty to comprehend language as signifiers point to an array of other signifiers that continue to defer the essence of meaning.
Viktor Shklovsky, who precedes Derrida, speaks of a de-familiarisation with relation to art:
e technique of art is to make objects ”unfamiliar”, to make forms difficult, to increase the difficulty and length of perception because the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged. Art is a way of experiencing the artfulness of an object: the object is not important . . . (Shklovsky, 16)
Forms are extra-textual, they shape the ‘material into a particular identity or substance’ (278). e ‘technique’ aims to distort these affiliations within the art and make it appear self-contained. It is this ‘artfulness’ that Derrida’s différance invokes. Shklovsky claims that the ‘prolonged perception’ of Art is greater than its aesthetic value and meaning. Derrida claims the same to happens within language, with the constant deference of the sign:
F. S. Hussain / ENGL411. (Begley) / 1. Différance as de-familiarisation (19th Feb. ’10) 2
‘e economic character of différance in no way implies that the deferred presence can always be recovered, that it simply amounts to an investment that only temporarily and without loss delays the presentation of presence, that is, the perception of gain or the gain of perception.’ (292)
e present, to Derrida, is a transitory being that dies immediately. e presence, in the present, does not last long enough for complete perception. e initial meaning that is sought is covered up with other meanings, extra- and intra-textual, that take priority and shape the overall meaning. In essence, the delay, allowed perception of language is allowing for a sign to take shape with...