MD Kerr


Contradiction and the way of the Creator

Reading Nietzsche, I argue that explicit contradiction is a way of playing God with the reader and foreclosing discourse. Turning this argument onto Kristeva’s writing about the semiotic, I pry into post-structuralism’s unspeakable other – its inadmissable obsession with the ‘outside’ of language that it defines as impossible. Presented at the Négation conference at Université de Tours, France in 2004, it is published in the conference proceedings.

Passions: a tangential offering

Originally written as an intellectual love-letter to Derrida, in which I hoped to catch his mind’s eye, this was only published after his death, in Postmodern Culture’s In Memoriam issue (PMC 15.3). “Hence I cannot give you what I thought I was writing for you – that is what I must acknowledge… to know that these things I am going to write will never cause me to be loved by the one I love (the other).” Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse

The Thing Itself

A.S. Byatt’s Still Life, like post-structural theory, obsesses with the thing before words, outside words, and yet can’t ever find its way to this elusive thing itself. Ostensibly my Masters dissertation, this was another literary love-letter that never reached its addressee / ideal reader – the occupational hazard of post-structuralism.

Subsite: Post-structuralism: an introduction

An interactive two-part site: one part gives post-structuralism’s linguistic basis as five short sentences - with the option to drop-down an explanation and/or a relevant excerpt from Saussure’s Course in General Linguistics. Part two showcases various notions around post-structuralism, presented as a galaxy of signifiers and using texts from, among others, Julia Kristeva, Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes, and Jacques Lacan.

Subsite: Who are we now? Hypertext fiction and western world views

Screengrab: Homepage of Who are we now? Hypertext fiction and western world viewsAn earlier website, this was created in 2000 as my Honours dissertation for University of Cape Town, South Africa, and was presented in part at the World Wide Web 2000 conference at Rand Afrikaans University, Johannesburg. Its central tenets are that "Postmodernism represents a shift in the collective unconscious of the western world which hypertext fiction can help to consolidate" and "Jung's reading of alchemy illuminates this process of transformation."