This paper takes the Aristotelian binary of praxis and poiesis and approaches the process of autobiography via its double lens. Drawing on a reading of Hannah Arendt done by Julia Kristeva, it considers the question of whether the activity (that is: praxis) of making-narrative might constitute an activity that is particularly ‘human’. It is framed by the playful and serious challenge offered by Derridean deconstruction to think two things at once, and to practice an inhabiting of binary ultimatums. Given this, it goes on to suggest that making in an autobiographical fashion, rather than involvinganythingprimarily representative or documentary, is more paradoxically akin to the invention of what is most true about that which we are in the habit of calling ‘our life’. Indeed, it can be argued that this praxisinvents that very ‘life’ – the latter being an entity or categorythat logically does not precede thesame writing that purports to describe it, but rather arises with its activity. This self-reflexivity (a manoeuvre that at once describes and invokes the very thing described) coincides with Derrida’s explication of invention’s mechanism.
Field of Research
200525 Literary Theory
Socio Economic Objective
970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing