(2612 words)
  • Graham Allen (University College Cork)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume 12: Global Voices, Global Histories: World Literatures and Cultures.

The words aporia and aporetic figure significantly and frequently in the writings of the French philosopher Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) and in the deconstructive school of literary and cultural theory which his work inspired. Originating in the Greek, aporia involves doubt, perplexity and that which is impassable. Niall Lucy, in his A Derrida Dictionary (Blackwell: 2004), opens his entry on aporia with this definition: “aporia. A Greek term denoting a logical contradiction, “aporia” is used by Derrida to refer to what he often calls the “blind spots” of any metaphysical argument.” The definition is useful, …

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Allen, Graham. "Aporia". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 July 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1578, accessed 01 July 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Poststructuralism and Deconstruction