The end of the book and the beginning of writing

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the end of the book and the beginning of writing

Derrida, Jacques, and Barry Stocker. Jacques Derrida: Basic Writings. London ; New York: Routledge, This problem has to do with how we now Note: this was published in use the term too loosely. As the chapter title suggests, Derrida is looking at the end of writing in reference to the book, since the book is a finite, limited, set collection of words and pages.
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Why Is It So Hard To Write An Ending? - Gordy Hoffman

The End of the Book

A book is a discrete physical object, with a finite set of words arranged on a finite number of pages. The experience of reading a book, however, is infinite and unique for each individual. The words in a book extend infinitely inward into the mind of the reader, and infinitely outward as the book is cited, written about, and smeared across the rest of human existence. Language and the idea of writing , unlike a book, have no boundaries. Can an infinite language, with infinite signified, do anything but devolve into meaninglessness? Does Derrida have the answer? In our world, writing is slowly overtaking speech parole —for what reason is not really important—as the nexus of meaning.

In Of Grammatology , Jacques Derrida equates the culture of The Book with logocentrism , the belief in a signifier which is both outside of structure, and hence beyond scrutiny or challenge, and at the very centre, providing it with a central point of reference that anchors meaning. God, Man, the Imagination--these are only some of the names which the west has ascribed to its need for a transcendental signified which would fix truth to some point outside of language. Logocentrism has "always assigned the origin of truth in general to the logos; history of truth, of the truth of truth, has always been [ However, for Derrida, the epoch of The Book and its logocentric suppression of the free-play of signification, that is of writing itself, "seems to be approaching what is really its own exhaustion " 8 :. These historical shifts have been concomitant with, and indeed have paved the way for, the advent of electronic hypertext. They signal not simply the demise of the bookmark industry or relief from the dangers of papercuts, but a way of thinking about the way we organize, conceive and imagine the world in which we live. To think of the world not as a Book but as a hypertext is to conceive of it as a heterogeneous, mutable, interactive and open-ended space where meaning is inscribed between signs, between nodes , and between readers, not enclosed between the limits of a front and back cover, or anchored to some conceptual spine called the author.

In this chapter, “The End of the Book and the Beginning of Writing” from Of Grammatology, Derrida looks at what he considers to be the problem.
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How to Write THE END of Your Book

Yesterday, I had the great good pleasure of chatting on Facebook with Laura Heffernan about Sweet Reality , her latest novel. Effervescent and wide-open fun, our conversation zipped, darted, and turned upside down the way that I have always believed that a novel was written. I write the ending first, she said and laughed. I have an idea, write the ending, and then figure out how my characters get there. Our conversation veered off into other fascinating trails: reality television, cooking competitions, cupcakes, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It was lively, fun, and all too short.

By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy , Privacy Policy , and our Terms of Service. Writing Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for the craft of professional writing, including fiction, non-fiction, technical, scholarly, and commercial writing. It only takes a minute to sign up. One of the Rules of writing indicates that knowing the end before the beginning is critical to writing. Which I find odd, because in my writing early days, probably doing it wrong , one of the best things is that I don't actually know what the end is on my first run through. I think this gives my writing some of its dynamism, because the author is as unsure of where this will end up as the characters. Now, just for clarification, I have something of an idea of what is going to happen, some sense of what is being worked towards, but - critically - until I get there, I cannot say what the interactions will be, and so how the story will end.

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