chapter  3
32 Pages

The Philosophical Paradigm

WithPiotr Spyra

Chapter 3 provides a theoretical overview of the problems associated with representing liminality in fictional discourse. A detailed exposition of the Platonic notion of khora and its interpretations given by Jacques Derrida and Julia Kristeva serve to establish key features of both literary and philosophical representations of liminality. Much space is devoted to the binary opposition between metaphorical and literal use of language and its bearing on the discourse used to represent the liminal. The chapter highlights the role of liminality in structuring the binary oppositions that subtend human thought in the post-structuralist model of language and culture. With this insight, the argument stresses the implication of the liminal in recurring interpretive patterns one finds in both literary texts and philosophical expositions that attempt to capture the essence of in-betweenness. These include the demonization of the liminal, studied here in the historical-theological context, the tendency of liminal discourse to produce logical loops and aporias and the representation of the liminal as abjection.