Monday, February 13, 2012

Deconstruction, not Demolition

My good friend, Michael O'Brien sent me this link to a local story that brings together critical theory and my personal connections to Decorah, Iowa.

The story is entitled "Deconstructing 'Deconstruction'." The title hooked me--after all, I'm an English professor with a keen interest in Derrida. I've been methodically working through his The Beast and the Sovereign lecture series this academic year. Then I looked at the photo and knew the story's context. After decades in Decorah, long under the management of my grandfather and then of my uncles, Wapsie Produce has recently closed down and is now being deconstructed. Not demolished, as the article explains, because the deconstruction crews are dismantling the building carefully in order to save reusable materials.

There is a sadness for me in seeing this architectural manifestation of family history disappear, though I only had one summer of labor experience across the processes of processing capons. Yet, this glimmer of Derridean approach to this gradual event in a public forum is, at least for me, quite a eulogy.

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