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4.0 out of 5 stars Four and a half stars really, 6 April 2013
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This review is from: Poststructuralism: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
Of the few books from this series that I have read, this one is the shortest in length and that is unfortunate. Other authors treat the subject in a similar fashion also and I suspect this is because the nature of poststructuralism does not lend itself to being easily introduced. For this reason though I think that any text about poststructuralism should be longer rather than shorter.

Belsey starts off at beginning with the usual exploration of language - signifier and signified. Over the context of the whole book she treats the issue of poststructuralism's approach to language in a clear manner and the reader is able to develop a concrete and deeper understanding of how language can predate reality without it sounding improbable. The most quotable poststructuralist of them all - Foucault - is of course there though not dwelt on, Lacan also is present and its good to see Kristeva there also. The unreadable Derrida is present and although Belsey is good and tries to explain Derrida's deconstruction as 'the trace of the other in the selfsame' - no, I still do not really get it.

Belsey presents a clear and well written text which covers poststructural theory well - rationality, origin and poststructuralism's opposition to realism . It is made interesting by the inclusion of topics such as ideological uses of mythology {Barthes}. She does once or twice drift off into never never land but she has the good taste to not linger there. The final chapter 'Dessent' is incisive and though the discussion opens to include Lyotard's postmodernism, Belsey makes a final clear case for postructuralism.

This book would be a valuable inclusion in anyone's mini library on postructuralism. .
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