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Tony Hak and Niels Helsloot, eds., [Language breaks, Tension between linguistics and social science]

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De taal kan barsten. Spanning tussen taalkunde en maatschappijwetenschap
Introduction: Tony Hak and Niels Helsloot
Translation into Dutch: Tony Hak and Niels Helsloot
Amsterdam: Krisis 1991
ISBN 90 73040 03 5
xx + 117 pp.


In this volume, texts by Michel Pêcheux (1938-1983) are published in Dutch (see translations 1991). At first sight, Pêcheux seems to be of little importance compared to kindred authors like Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida. Isn't it with good reason that he passed into oblivion – together with his master Louis Althusser and all (neo-)marxist ideals? This volume shows the contrary. Pêcheux is highly relevant to our times. His theory of language and society refrains from all too easy choices: Pêcheux avoids the ideological self-evidences of so-called clear, rational and univocal language. But he also treats with caution the poetic or mad play that explores the equivocality of language to invoke change. Language is a unity full of breaks. Even in theoretical practice, therefore, exciting tensions may occur.


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