Aporia (2611 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Graham Allen (University College Cork)
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  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume : WORLD HISTORY AND IDEAS: A CROSS-CULTURAL VOLUME.


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, especially in alerting us t…

Allen, Graham. "Aporia". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 July 2005
[https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1578, accessed 21 August 2019.]

Related Groups

  1. Poststructuralism and Deconstruction

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