John Schad in Conversation with David Jonathan Y. Bayot
Publication Type
Book review

One of the radical breakaways within mainstream literary criticism is John Schad's treatment of critical or nonfiction writing as creative—or what Schad calls "ficto-criticism." In his thought-provoking conversation with David Bayot, Schad takes us to an insightful territory where the critical and fictional finally have "the great train crash." John Schad in Conversation questions and, in fact, blurs the boundary that conventionally separates between various forms of writing such as poetry, autobiography and/or actual self-experience. Indeed, this book invites us to re-explore the novelistic space that traditionally divides critical writing from creative literary works, and to reinterpret the concept of "critical invention" via the parallel reading of factual experience and imaginative text. Schad, to exemplify, manifests the meaning of this space by creating channels of critical-creative negotiations between the personal/factual experience of his father's death, which took place in October 1996 "after a long, fourteen-year decline into premature dementia [later on] declared to be Alzheimer's," and his own reading practice of Jacques Derrida's "Envois" in The Post Card, published in 1980. His father's "fourteen-year decline into premature dementia" can also be doubled by Schad's fourteen-year creative decline into Derrida's "Envois." Not only does Schad treat Derrida's "Envois" as a fictional form of epistolary writing, but he also transforms his loss-of-father event into "a quasi-creative" narrative entitled Someone Called Derrida, published in 2007 and based on his own reading experience of Derrida's "Envois."

Interdisciplinary Literary Studies: A Journal of Criticism and Theory
Pennsylvania State University Press
Publisher Country
United States of America
Impact Factor
Publication Type
Both (Printed and Online)