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April 22, 2007

EL312: We're "fictioning" all the time

While I definitely did not agree with everything that Belsey presented in her essay, I appreciated the Foucault comment she quoted at the essay's close:

According to Foucault, who invents the verb "to fiction" in order to undermine his own use of the word "truth," "one 'fictions' a history starting from a political reality that renders it true, one 'fictions' a politics that doesn't as yet exist starting from a historical truth." I want to add this: the literary institution has "fictioned" a criticism which uncritically protests its own truth; we must instead "fiction" a literature which renders up our true history in the interests of a politics of change. (435)

Belsey's addition doesn't really make much sense to me, though. Is she suggesting that the literature and literary criticism of current times is not doing "truth" justice? The line that's making me think most is this: "... renders up our true history in the interests of a politics of change" (435). I'm seeing suggestion of writing into literature and literary criticism a different kind of "truth."

Is Belsey branding truth and "truth"? The line I'm pondering is really pointing me to believe that in order to affect the "politics of change" there needs to be a change in the way literature and literary criticism are dealt with in reference to the truth. Ideally, then, for Belsey, would be the initiated "truth" and not the truth.

Makes sense with some of the other comments she made with which I did not agree whatsoever...

Belsey, ''Literature, History, Politics'' -- Jerz EL312 (Literary Criticism)

Posted by KarissaKilgore at April 22, 2007 11:19 PM


I think she is suggesting that the truth, or at least a fair interpretation of the truth, is being blurred by today's deconstructivists.

Posted by: Dave Moio at April 26, 2007 2:40 PM

I agree with Dave. I also think that by looking that the past history through literature, we can learn from possible mistakes that were made, instead of saying that it is "unclear" of what is being said. I think that politics of change is more representative to the idea of not making the same mistakes again, and how literature can help us see the real truth that has happened in history/politics. Representative behavior is something that literature is so effective in using, because it takes the history and creates its own spin of the "truth." I really hope that I didn't make this worse for you. I hope that you understood this.

Posted by: Jason Pugh at April 26, 2007 4:27 PM

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