It would be very useful if Jacques Derrida went to a poetry reading, if he had any interest in it at all, because he would be able to experience how reading off of a page more often than not, brings a work alive rather than dulling it. Many times, the spoken word is more powerful than written, due to the ability to control fluctuation in the rhythm and pronunciation, the levels of volume and tone, and other things like body language. Most often, we find that people, especially in these days, are visually wired, and have short attention spans. But with this in mind, we see that Derrida has a good point. However, writers of poetry and lovers of words would obviously say the opposite. That there is room to fight for the other side, that the written word does not compare, because, like Sartre would say, the meaning ends in the reader. Because of this, there are more avenues that one piece's interpretation can go down, rather than the one presented to us, already decoded through biased opinions and persuasion of rhetoric.
Derrida says that writing is a fall from the full presence of speech. That it is only a derivative. Someone like Donald M. Bahr would agree, in his article on transferring Native American oral poetry to the page. This is ingrained in their culture. But we must not underestimate the power of our minds to read the written word as if it were spoken, and the opportunity to have no voice but our own interpret its value.
Bahr, Donald M. Reading the Voice: Native American Oral Poetry on the Written
Page. Wicazo SA review: A Journal of Native American Studies 15.2 (2000) 153-157.
Web. 17 May. 2011.