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A philosophical movement and theory of literary criticism that questions traditional assumptions about certainty, identity, and truth; asserts that words can only refer to other words; and attempts to demonstrate how statements about any text subvert their own meanings: "In deconstruction, the critic claims there is no meaning to be found in the actual text, but only in the various, often mutually irreconcilable, 'virtual texts' constructed by readers in their search for meaning" (Rebecca Goldstein).
deconstructive de'con·struc'tive adj.
deconstructionism de'con·struc'tion·ism n.
deconstructionist de'con·struc'tion·ist n. & adj.
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