Turn Wright at the Green Light

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"Lacanian and Derridean theory has enabled me to see patterns which undermine the stable meaning of the text, which I might not have seen and would certainly not have been able to make clear to myself otherwise" (Wright 399).

From the end section, I got the impression that Wright used Derrida's and Lacan's approach to postructuralism in order to derive some meaning from a text. From what I learned from Derrida, you can only get meaning out of a text (or anything else) using postructuralism if you ignore the fact that there is a never ending cycle in the search for a "complete meaning" or the origin of meaning. In other words, you can't take postructuralism to its full potential I guess or nothing would have any meaning.

Wright made another point in her essay that I related immediately to Young Adult Literature, which some of us are currently taking. Wright stated:

"Instead of treating the author virtually as an egoist we are treating him as the subject whom we could enlighten. We do this not by gleefully uncovering hidden meanings, but by helping new meanings to grow, meanings of which he had only a blurred view, because no on can project perfectly and infinetly into the future. Nevertheless, we should remember that it is the creative activity of the artist that has produced the text from which we can generate such a wealth of meanings" (399).

I immediately thought of An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. In one of the interviews we read from Green, he talked about how his readers know as much about his story and characters as he does and can probably read his book better than himself. In other words, I think author's interpretation of their own works are biased because the remember who or what they based each character or event off of and what they were thinking while they were writing. However, a reader who doesn't know this information could possibly have a completely different interpretation of the work because their view is not influenced by that impossible "origin of meaning" which according to postructuralism doesn't exist. So, I think I disucssed author's intent more than I did postructuralism with this one. Oh well.

Anyways, my muddy point for this article was when Wright was discussing Babo in relation to Delano. I especially didn't understand this quote: "The uncanny force of the shaving scene resides in the slave's actions being both signifier of his good intentions to Delano, the new master, and at the same time signifier of his bad ones to Cereno, his old master, whose death is the moment he anticipates" (Wright 396). What did she mean by stating that Delano was to be the new master? I got completely confused on this since I originally thought that Babo was trying to get rid of Delano and Cereno. Also, I got really confused around pages 397 and 398 when Wright started talking about the "father". I just didn't get it.

Overall, I still don't understand how I would apply this myself. It's still not coming together completely.


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