Law Text Culture


The function of a title, as Jacques Derrida tells us, circumscribes, borders, orients, locates, and contains; it becomes ‘a code of legibility’ (Derrida 1986: 197). When we give something a title, we attempt to centre the capacity of the author to determine meaning in the content. In a word – ‘anchored’, ‘unanchored’, ‘home’, ‘bounded’, ‘horizons’ – the author (I) can ease the reader into a text, give them a sense of meaning and purpose. 'A title takes place only on the border of a work: were it only to let itself be incorporated in the corpus it entitles, were it only to be a part, like one of its internal elements or one of its pieces, it would no longer play the role of having title-value. Were it completely outside, detached and separated from the body by a distance greater than that which the law, right, and code ordain, there would be no more title' (Derrida 1986, 197).