Volume 21, 2021
From Witnessing to Testimony
Pourquoi avons-nous besoin du témoignage ?
Penser le témoignage avec Paul Ricoeur
This article proposes to analyze the relations between ethics and the poetics of testimony. It does so by testing Paul Ricoeur’s analyses of testimony with the literary work of the Belarusian Nobel Prize winner Svletana Alexievitch. After having shown why witnessing occupies a type of expressivity that is singular in contemporary times, and then having been surprised by the strong links that unite witnessing and the experience of evil, Alexievitch’s work is chosen to explain what the resource of the poetic could be, in the face of the question of evil. Ultimately, the consequences are drawn for the development of a practical wisdom in which testimony would be in a good place.