The Architecture of Deconstruction: Derrida's Haunt

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MIT Press, 1995 - Architecture - 278 pages
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Nowhere, Mark Wigley asserts, are the stakes higher for deconstruction than inarchitecture - architecture is the Achilles' heel of deconstructive discourse, the point ofvulnerability upon which all of its arguments -depend. In this book Wigley redefines the question ofdeconstruction and architecture. By locating the architecture already hidden within deconstructivediscourse, he opens up more radical possibilities for both architecture and deconstruction, offeringa way of rethinking the institution of architecture while using architecture to rethinkdeconstructive discourse.Wigley relentlessly tracks the tacit argument about architecture embeddedwithin Jacques Derrida's discourse, a curious line of argument that passes through each of thephilosopher's texts. He argues that this seemingly tenuous thread actually binds those texts, actingas their source of strength but also their point of greatest weakness. Derrida's work is seen torender architecture at once more complex, uncanny, pervasive, unstable, brutal, enigmatic, anddevious, if not insidious, while needing itself to be subjected to an architecturalinterrogation.Wigley provocatively turns Derrida's reading strategy back on his texts to expose thearchitectural dimension of their central notions like law, economy, writing, place, domestication,translation, vomit, spacing, laughter, and dance. Along the way he highlights new aspects of therelationship between Heidegger and Derrida, explores the structural role of ornament and the elusivearchitecture of haunting, while presenting a fascinating account of the institutional politics ofarchitecture.Mark Wigley is Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture at PrincetonUniversity.


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About the author (1995)

Mark Wigley is Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture at Princeton University.

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