Nasser Mufti Responds
Deconstruction. That word haunted my reading of Forms, and seems somewhat less ghostly after reading Agathocleous’s response (or maybe just misreading Agathocleous’s response). If the author is, as Agathocleous notes, only half-dead in Hensley’s argument, then who is the agent of the Victorian force of law? Text or author? Forms echoes deconstruction when it embraces the artificiality of curation, extols language’s ability to speak, and demonstrates critical intimacy with the aesthetic object. Given these affiliations, might one import deconstruction’s meditations on the constitutive violence endemic to law to the relation between text and author? One of the (most despised) interventions of deconstruction was to situate the critic within the scene of interpretation, thereby formalizing the reader’s relation to the scene of writing (invariably at the cost of the argument’s clarity). But isn’t this also the task of the curator, to call attention to the mediated manner in which texts/objects are brought into a “critical constellation”? Does this mean that Forms attends to its own form?