Daily Archives: February 7, 2006


In The Princess Bride, Prince Humperdinck makes a pronouncement regarding the pursuit of Princess Buttercup and Wesley/Dread Pirate Roberts. “Unless I am wrong,” he says, followed by a parenthetical,”and I am never wrong,” and then something about the the fire swamp.

I think about that sometimes, when I’m trying to figure something out. I really admire his confidence, but there’s also a slight gesture towards humility. Granted it’s only a nod, a conceit that only makes him more of an arrogant bastard. But it’s a charming gesture.

My version is different but, oddly, paradoxically, no less arrogant. “Unless I am wrong,” I say, “and I am always wrong,” and then I go on to say what I think something is or means or is going to happen.

So, unless I am wrong, and I am always wrong, deconstruction is taking a text, noting the underlying questions that the text is purporting to answer, and then determining that the questions themselves are incoherent.

I’m not sure how this is useful though.