Laura Maxwell (English 111, 1994)

Like Barthes, Derrida conceives of text as constituted by discrete reading units. Derrida's conception of text relates to his "methodology of decomposition" that might transgress the limits of philosophy. "The organ of this new philosopheme," as Gregory Ulmer points out, "is the mouth, the mouth that bites, chews, tastes. . . The first step of decomposition is the bite" (57). Derrida, who describes text in terms of something close to Barthes's lexias, explains in Glas that "the object of the present work, its style too, is the 'mourceau'" which Ulmer translates as "bit, piece, morsel, fragment; musical composition; snack, mouthful." This mourceau, adds Derrida, "is always detached, as its name indicates and so you do not forget it, with the teeth," and these teeth, Ulmer explains, refer to "quotation marks, brackets, parentheses: when language is cited (put between quotation marks), the effect is that of releasing the graps or hold of a controlling context." (8-9)

George P. Landow, Hypertext: The Convergence of Contemporary Critical Theory and Technology, 1993.