Derrida saw this kind of reading as reading against the grain. Take a text, find what it seems to advocate, and look in the opposite direction. G W F Hegel wrote about spirit, untainted by the mess of life – so Derrida explored his relationship to family. Husserl wrote about subjectivity by describing the surrounding world, so Derrida looked for moments where Husserl invoked God. This doesn’t eliminate the text or the thinking, but it problematises them, it finds the limits. In a sense, we’re to treat every text with suspicion, although Derrida himself called this an act of ‘hospitality’. To read a text this closely is to treat it with seriousness, to really look at what’s going on.
In 1967, French philosopher Jacques Derrida wrote “There is nothing outside the text”. Or did he? It’s a bad translation that’s launched a thousand bad interpretations – but it’s gone on to become a key element of Derrida’s work.