The right to say everything

The European Legacy 9 (1):7-17 (2004)

Can one say everything? Does one have the right to say everything? This essay distinguishes these two questions, and seeks to clarify them with reference to two French writers for whom the questions are central: Maurice Blanchot and Jacques Derrida. Blanchot considers the questions with respect to the Marquis de Sade and Louis?René des Fore?ts. For Blanchot, the right to say everything is not supported by an appeal to the integrity of the self; rather, it is linked to a kenosis of the ?I.? His account leaves important questions unaddressed. For Derrida, however, the right to say everything is enshrined in modern democracy and sustained by reference to a ?democracy to come.? Brief as it is, Derrida's response to the questions is the most satisfactory that we have to date
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DOI 10.1080/1084877042000197912
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