‘Literature has the political right to say everything. It’s there, it’s published, but nobody can trust it, because it is fiction: I may have lied, invented, deformed, as it the case in all so-called autobiographical texts. A truth is deformed and transformed. Sometimes in order to access an even more powerful, more “true” truth. We can never prove—what is called proving—that someone lied. This right—to say everything without avowing anything—weaves a link of principle between literature and democracy.’

If, as Derrida suggests, literature has ‘the political right to say everything’, how might writing that occupies the creative-critical border contribute to what needs to be said? How can innovative literary-critical forms be trusted with the truth? And, in striving for Derrida’s ‘more powerful, more “true” truth’, how might critical poetics engage in a form of activism?

Reference
Jacques Derrida, ‘From the Word to Life: a dialogue between Jacques Derrida and Hélène Cixous, trans by Ashley Thompson, New Literary History, 37:1 (2006), p.12.