Difference / différance

(138 words)
  • Editors

Literary/ Cultural Context Note

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume : WORLD HISTORY AND IDEAS: A CROSS-CULTURAL VOLUME.

Preliminary entry

A central concept to the philosophical and critical movement known as 'Deconstruction' inaugurated by Jacques Derrida in the late 1960s. Starting from Ferdinand de Saussure's Cours de linguistique générale (1916; Course in General Linguistics), Derrida observes that to find the meaning of any word one must refer to other words, so meaning does not consist in this particular word but rather in a series of semantic relations which logically end nowhere. Meaning depends on the difference between words, and is always deferred both in time and space. This undeniable fact of language is always denied by the tendency of authorities -- the church, the law -- to assert that certain …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Editors. "Difference / différance". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=277, accessed 01 October 2016.]

Related Groups

  1. Poststructuralism and Deconstruction