Friday, August 21, 2020

Bricolage

Bricolage

Derrida highlights Lévi-Strauss's use of the term bricolage, the activity of a bricoleur. "The bricoleur, says Lévi-Strauss, is someone who uses 'the means at hand,' that is, the instruments he finds at his disposition around him, those which are already there, which had not been especially conceived with an eye to the operation for which they are to be used and to which one tries by trial and error to adapt them, not hesitating to change them whenever it appears necessary." Bricolage becomes a metaphor for philosophical and literary critiques, exemplifying Derrida's previous argument about the necessity of using the language available. The bricoleur's foil is the engineer, who creates out of whole cloth without the need for bricolage—however, the engineer is merely a myth since all physical and intellectual production is really bricolage.

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