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Deconstruction, in its most simplest explanation, is the examination of a text in regards to what is not being stated, what is left out. It was initiated by French philosopher Jacques Derrida in the 1960s. It is grounded in structuralism and semiotics.
Deconstruction is an approach to reading literary texts (as well as other kinds of texts) that stresses that no final, settled, secure interpretation of a text is possible. Deconstructors argue that texts cannot have sure, certain, decisive "meanings." For the self-contradictions involved in such an argument, see, for instance, Reed Way Dasenbrock's book Truth and Consequences. See also the works of other such other critics of deconstruction as M. H. Abrams, Brian Vickers, John M. Ellis, and Raymond Tallis, to mention just a few. Also worth reading are the debates between Jacques Derrida and John Searle.
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