The Blanchot Reader

The Blanchot Reader

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Maurice Blanchot's impact on French thinking and culture over the last 50 years has been enormous. Yet he still remains a writer whose work, though often cited, is little-known to the English-speaking reader. In The Blanchot Reader Michael Holland answers that urgent need and does so in a way that provides a coherent perspective on what by any standard is an extraordinary personal and intellectual career. We see how Blanchot in the 1940s anticipated later post-Sartrean trends, as followed by among others Samuel Beckett and the practitioners of the nouveau roman. We discover how the linguistic turn of the 1950s took place for Blanchot in a political climate, while also occurring within literature and philosophy, and we trace the emergence of the entretien, a dialogue format used by Blanchot to interrogate the writing of his contemporaries, and beyond this to entertain a real dialogue with the 'Other' and so to broach the question of ultimate responsibility. The volume concludes with a consideration of Blanchot's development of the 'fragment', in his philosophical and his political writings, as well as in those devoted to literature.
A final subsection focuses on his recent midrash on Moses and Aaron, dedicated to Jacques Derrida. A chronology of Blanchot's career and a succinct primary and secondary bibliography are also included, together with a list of English translations of Blanchot's work.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 340 pages
  • 164 x 232 x 20mm | 576g
  • BLACKWELL PUBLISHERS
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0631190848
  • 9780631190844
  • 1,071,064

Back cover copy

Maurice Blanchot's impact on French thinking and culture over the last 50 years has been enormous. Yet he still remains a writer whose work, though often cited, is little-known to the English-speaking reader.
In The Blanchot Reader Michael Holland answers that urgent need and does so in a way that provides a coherent perspective on what by any standard is an extraordinary personal and intellectual career. We see how Blanchot in the 1940s anticipated later post-Sartrean trends, as followed by among others Samuel Beckett and the practitioners of the nouveau roman. We discover how the linguistic turn of the 1950s took place for Blanchot in a political climate, while also occurring within literature and philosophy, and we trace the emergence of the entretien, a dialogue format used by Blanchot to interrogate the writing of his contemporaries, and beyond this to entertain a real dialogue with the `Other' and so to broach the question of ultimate responsibility. The volume concludes with a consideration of Blanchot's development of the `fragment', in his philosophical and his political writings, as well as in those devoted to literature. A final subsection focuses on his recent midrash on Moses and Aaron, dedicated to Jacques Derrida.
A chronology of Blanchot's career and a succinct primary and secondary bibliography are also included, together with a list of English translations of Blanchot's work.
show more

Table of contents

Preface. Acknowledgements. Introduction. Part I: How is Literature Possible?: 1. The Silence of Writers (1941). 2. The Search for Tradition (1941). 3. The Beginnings of the Novel (1938). 4. The Recent Novel (1941). 5. The Pure Novel (1943). 6. Mallarme and the Art of the Novel (1943). 7. How is Literature Possible?(1943). 8. The Novel is a Work of Bad Faith (1947). 9. Sade's Reason (1947). Part II: The Turning-Point: 10. Madness par excellence (1951). 11. Artaud (1956) . 13. The Pursuit of the Zero Point (1953). 14. The Death of the Last Writer (1955). 15. The Great Hoax (1958). 16. Essential Perversion (1958). 17. On a Change of Epoch (1960). Part III: Our Responsibility: 18. The Right to Insubordination (1960). 19. Disorderly Words (1968). 20. Intellectuals under Scrutiny (1984). 21. The Indestructible (i) Being Jewish (1962), (ii) Humankind (1962). 22.'Do Not Forget' (1986). Part IV: The Step Beyond: 23. The Name Berlin (1961). 24. The Conquest of Space (1961). 25. Waiting (1959). 26. The Exigency of Return (1969). 27. The Exigency of Return (1970). 28. Oh All To End (1990). 29. The Ease of Dying (1969). 30. Thanks (Be Given) to Jacques Derrida (1990). Blanchot in English by Peter C. Hoy. Index.
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About Michael Holland

Michael Holland is a Fellow of St Hugh's College, Oxford, and a Lecturer in French at Oxford University. He is soon to publish the first comprehensive study of Maurice Blanchot's life as a writer.
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15 ratings
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