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Glossary of Literary Theory
by Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown


A term coined by Jacques Derrida to describe the difference, differing, deferring, and deferral of meaning to which any signifying system gives rise. Because language is composed of differences rather than positive terms, the free play of signifiers is limitless. (See also Deconstruction.)

© Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown,
University of Toronto
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University of Toronto English Library
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Last modified: March 31, 1997