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Practicing Deconstruction, Again: Blindness, Insight and the Lovely Treachery of Words in D. H. Lawrence's "The Blind Man"

Nils Clausson
College Literature
Vol. 34, No. 1 (Winter, 2007), pp. 106-128
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25115407
Page Count: 23
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Practicing Deconstruction, Again: Blindness, Insight and the Lovely Treachery of Words in D. H. Lawrence's "The Blind Man"
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Abstract

At a time when the turn to history and various forms of cultural studies frames the practice of literary studies as a an either/or choice between a cultural/historical criticism of political engagement with issues of race, gender and ethnicity, or a retreat into formalism and aesthetic, we are endanger of losing sight of the most valuable lesson of deconstruction: that whatever else literary critics do we must read texts closely. Taking as it starting point, D. H. Lawrence's aphorism "The proper function of the critic is to save the tale from the artist who created it," this paper offers an analysis of D. H. Lawrence's short story "The Blind Man" to demonstrate that the charges most frequently levelled against deconstruction-that is leads to relativism, anarchy, conservatism, meaninglessness and paralyzing undecidability-are not supported by a deconstructionist reading of Lawrence's story.

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