The concept of aporia in Derrida's writings, and that of subsequent deconstructivists, is fairly complex. Effectively, Derrida is saying that aporia is a situation where the very elements that make a thing possible are simultaneously the same ones that make the thing im possible. There are, according to Derrida, a...
The concept of aporia in Derrida's writings, and that of subsequent deconstructivists, is fairly complex. Effectively, Derrida is saying that aporia is a situation where the very elements that make a thing possible are simultaneously the same ones that make the thing impossible. There are, according to Derrida, a number of social concepts and situations that are sustained only by the internal tension wherein nobody actually acknowledges that they do not make sense at all. Incidences of aporia leave us in a sort of Schroedinger's Box situation wherein a concept can only exist if we do not examine it too closely from any angle. As soon as it is deconstructed, it becomes impossible.
Hospitality, for example, is logically impossible because in order to be hospitable, one must own the property and means to use for hosting, which thus puts the host in a position of power over his guests. If he is not in some way controlling his guests, this suggests that the guests are abusing his hospitality by invading his space and taking his food, but if he is controlling them, then how can he be truly hospitable? Because we must exert some kind of control in order to be hospitable, we cannot invite anyone, unconditionally, into our homes; yet to be truly hospitable, conceptually, we should relinquish all claims to what we have so that we can give it to others. Yet, if we relinquish control, we relinquish the boundaries needed for hospitality to be hospitality, rather than simply people coming in off the street and taking our food by force...etc, etc. The issue is paradoxical. The concept of hospitality, when examined too closely, is a logical fallacy.
Having established what aporia means using various abstract examples, Derrida can then go on to deconstruct literary texts and indicate elements within them where the same paradoxes appear: areas where, if properly examined and interrogated, ideas in the text are logically impossible or contradictory.