Only its mother could love it

Still chewing at the bones of this Poststructuralist carcass, and this morning I’m trying to puzzle through just why the stuff is so hard to read. It’s passages like this that stick in the craw:

Foucault sought to understand the discontinuities within Western European history by highlighting the differences between distinct contingently constituted epistemological situations. In studies influenced by Foucault, history is mapped in order to trace the borders of discursive formations for discontinuities of meaning… Foucault imagined differences in terms of discontinuities internal to a given culture’s history and as marking the interior structure of the subjectivities formed within that culture. (Peter Jackson “Mapping Poststructuralism’s Borders: The Case for Poststructural Area Studies” Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia 18:1 2003:49)

The bolded fragments must be meant to mean something, but I have to read them about six times before what that something might be starts to percolate through to my thinking brain, and even then I’m awash in alternate readings. How does anybody ever learn to read this stuff?

It is deconstruction’s positing of a single field of meaning upon which opposed dominant and marginalized binary categories are mutually defined that permits this approach to become linked with universalisms despite a professed interest in particularity. (Jackson 2003:54)

The mind quails, rebels, withers, and declares itself too goddam old and inflexible to get it.

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