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“The bricoleur, says Levi-Strauss, is someone who uses ‘the means at hand,’ that is, the instruments he finds at his disposition around him, those which are already there, which had not been especially conceived with an eye to the operation for which they are to be used and to which one tries by trial and error to adapt them, not hesitating to change them whenever it appears necessary, or to try several of them at once, even if their form and their origin are heterogenous – and so forth. There is therefor a critique of language in the form of bricolage, and it has even been said that bricolage is critical language itself…If one calls bricolage the necessity of borrowing one’s concepts from the text of a heritage which is more or less coherent or ruined, it must be said that every discourse is bricoleur.” ― Jacques Derrida

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  • I am wondering how much of return to the structural analysis is of interest at this historical period. The radical deconstruction of assumptions about language, authorship, and semantics brought about by the so-called post-structuralist thinkers (the lable is unfortunate but can direct us towards certain thinkers who  perceived dangers of the attraction to structural coherency within the consistency haunted theoretical field in the Western world) seems premature when we observe the resurgence of desires for absolute authorities, religious knowledge,  and common understanding that simulates reality experience devoid of aporia.  I have been reading Myth and Meaning by Levi Strauss. In “The Meeting of Myth and Science” he writes: “It is, I think, absolutely impossible to conceive of meaning without order.” The whole question of analyzing the fields of experience and knowledge that  give appearance of chaos, and thus easily lend themselves to mystification, comes up for me again.

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