Working Through Aporia

Three Case Studies in Interpretation

Coleman Gariety
May 2019
Reed College

In this thesis I explore textual aporia (ἀπορία) by way of three case studies. The first chapter explores the production of aporia through the genre of ekphrasis in Heinrich von Kleist’s “Empfindungen vor Friedrichs Seelandschaft.” The second chapter explores the production of aporia through narrative in Fyodor Sologub’s The Petty Demon. The third chapter explores the aporias of time and space in Samuel Beckett’s stage play, Waiting for Godot. These studies teach us how aporia manifests itself in literature in the form of rhetorical and narrative metalepses that are worked through (durchgearbeitet) and sublated (aufgehoben) in the interpretative process.

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