Jacques Derrida and Deconstructionism

In response to Crispin Sartwell’s Oct. 12 Commentary article about the great, late philosopher Jacques Derrida: It is interesting that some of Derrida’s fierce critics interpret his work as that of an “antichrist,” devoid of truth, etc. Derrida’s philosophic approach to words, called “deconstructive method,” was to show that words are the product of, and therefore fall short of, the source/creator of the words. This philosophy is in line with many scriptural teachings: “In the beginning God created....” (Genesis 1, Chapter 1); “Be still and know that I am God;” etc. After all, a word is a created thing.

I believe that Derrida was trying to get his fellow intellectuals, beyond the words, to the source/creator of the words. Glad to hear that he appeared “irrepressibly happy.”

Deborah King-Straw

Los Angeles


I wish to commend Elaine Woo, in her obituary of Jacques Derrida (Oct. 10), for one of the most lucid explanations of deconstruction that I have ever read, one that didn’t “dumb down” the topic, but presented the complexities of deconstruction and the objections to it by detractors in readable prose.

Atara Stein