In the unlikely event that some Nobel Prize committee of the future decides to honour the discoverers of so anti-humanistic a concept as deconstruction, it will be faced with more than the usual difficulties in determining where to bestow the award. The search for the founder or originator of the discourse of deconstruction, flagrantly post-modernist and avant-garde as it is, would discover, upon examination of its major texts, a number of earlier candidates already nominated as worthy of the honour. The short-list of nominees might well have to stretch back behind the deconstructors of the present to include those relatively recent inquisitors of language who underwrite their work. While Nobel Prizes are often awarded belatedly or retrospectively, such an infinite regress of likely candidates for the dubious title of ‘founding father of deconstruction’ would make something of a mockery or a nonsense of the committee's august deliberations. This chapter discusses literary theory and literary criticism, structuralism, Marxism, and the nature of language and textuality in relation to the Nobel Prize.
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