In literature, aporia is an expression of insincere doubt. It’s when the writer or speaker pretends, briefly, not to know a key piece of information or not to understand a key connection. After raising this doubt, the author will either respond to the doubt or leave it open in a suggestive or “hinting” manner. An example of aporia is the famous Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem which begins, “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Browning’s pretence that she might not remember all “the ways” is what gives her an opportunity to enumerate them.

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