Then, you got Derrida, Foucault and Barthes to communicate via instant message.



     D – “Why [did] [you] slow down [your] introduction [that] way by dragging in such a naēve question? […] Naturally, [you] [didn’t] have time to demonstrate this […]  But [you] [were] determined to begin with it” (1984: 21).


     F – “The old problems of traditional analysis, such as what link to establish between disparate events, how to connect them in a necessary sequence, what continuity underlies them, or what the overall significance they ultimately form, whether global units can be defined or should research be restricted to re-establishing chains of events - all these questions have been replaced by inquiries of a different nature” (1970: 176).


     B – “To confine [yourself] to the current period, the Russian formalists, Propp, and Levi-Strauss have taught [you] to identify the following dilemma: either narrative [was] a random assemblage of events, in which case [you] only [spoke] of it in terms of the narrator’s (the author’s) art, talent, or genius – all mythical embodiments of change; or else it [shared] with other narratives a common structure, open to analysis, however delicate it [was] to formulate” (1975: 238).


     D – “[You] [have] thus [chosen], as you have already observed, the genre or rhetorical form of tiny atomic nuclei (in the process of fission or division in an uninterruptable chain) which [you] [have] [arranged] or rather which [you] [have] [projected] toward you, like tiny inoffensive missiles: in a discontinuous, more or less haphazard fashion” (1984: 21).


     F -  “What are the strata [you have] isolated; what types of series [have you] constructed, and what criteria of periodization [have you]; what system of relationships [have been] described between the series (hierarchy, dominance, distribution in layers, univocal determination, circular causality); what series of series [has been] established and in what large-scale chronological framework [were] separate series of events determined?” (1970: 176).


     B – “Where, then, [did] [you] look for the structure of narrative? No doubt in the narratives themselves. All the narratives? What [did] [you] expect in the case of the analysis of the narrative, faced with millions of narrative acts? […] It [was] only at the level of conformities and discrepancies, and equipped with a single tool of description, that [you, the analyst] [turned] [your] attention once more to the plurality of narrative acts, to their historical, geographical, and cultural diversity” (1975: 238-9).


*Adapted from the original text.