Tagged: Edgar Allen Poe

Edgar Allan Poe: The Purloined Letter. 1844

This short story by Edgar Allan Poe provoked a debate between Lacan and Derrida. Jacques Lacan wrote an essay about the story, where he proposes a post-structuralist interpretation: the content of the Queen’s letter is irrelevant to the story and the proper “place” of the signifier (the letter itself) is determined by the symbolic structure in which it exists and is displaced repeatedly. Jacques Derrida responded to Lacan’s reading in “Le Facteur de la vérité” (“The Purveyor of Truth”), by pointing out what Lacan himself “missed” in his reading. Derrida argues that the letter does not lack meaning, as Lacan...