File spoon-archives/blanchot.archive/blanchot_1997/blanchot.9712, message 34

Date: Wed, 17 Dec 1997 13:04:32 -0800
Subject: MB: Re:  Writer & Place


Thanks for this provocative interchange.  Please, I would rather you did
not agree with me though. My issue too is elsewhere, however much you
think you recognize, and I am most comfortable when it is not so easily

You encourage me to post in any way I can, but how welcome can anyone
feel under your measuring gaze?  As an inevitable subject of personal
attacks and tortured syntax, I too wish to raise problems.  To long for
resolution is to long for the end of writing.  Granted, I believe it's a
shame that so often we must resort to personal attacks to achieve
properly complicated issues, but this betrays the conditions in which we
find ourselves: less cultured than civilized.

Similarly, about the medium of writing, I can only rhapsodize, for there
is no writing without exaggeration, unusual intensity, irregularities,
or improvisation.  In this light, to think is to write.  Anything less
is moribund mimetics.

The lucidity and decency I see you as seeking would only perpetuate
already ubiquitous poisons of misapprehension.  What is straightforward
is hypnotized self-deception and satisfied prejudice.  MB's narrow
configurations are not without gaps.  That is the oppositon I
celebrate:  literature and mimetics on one side, silence and the space
of literature on the other.  To do so, as you say, is not to be so mean
and defeatist as to challenge another's understanding.  But while I'll
have no truck, in concession to you, with heroics or the legislation of
morals, I also stand against anyone's apparent circumscription of
another.  While a post may appear challenging, rhapsodic, or 'violent,'
this does not mean that the writer considers the reader deficient by any

I pretend I'm ready to breathe in any level of writing because I have
yet to write off our existence.  Consequently, I do not militate against
anything so much as I respectfully petition nothingness.  It is you who
apparently have something to militate against, and this characterization
of you is what I find so bothersome, or challenging.

You received "two or three fairly nasty personal attacks."  Fine. 
What's your solution?  How long do we continue to provide the most
predictable sorts of response?  Are we doomed to cling to our precious
identities in every circumstance or medium as if preserving the
cornerstone of some unapproachable ideal?

You are so full of dissappointment, but who made the appointment you
expected others to keep?  What space can we allow others?  What decorum
might we require that is not also a form of denial?

"Most people know when they are being aggressed upon," and isn't it
wonderful that we also know the perfect form of response that will
never, ever require alteration?  What tradition do we wish to secure?
What stability needs reinforcement?

Yes, what is violent is straightforward, and I fight against both
qualities in whatever form with all of my ridiculous, weeping heart. 
Our present medium complicates because only chaos is uncomplicated, and
this space is a deliberate move outside of that deadly lucidity.

How do you propose we reconsider the people we have shunned Mister      
Harrawood?  What do we ever honestly reconsider?  I think only the
light, and the narrow configurations of words, and that we give as
little thought as necessary to the space between.  Once a link is found
between two such configurations, do we ever continue to look for others?

I have been fortunate enough to have been in the same room as Lucio, and
you are right, he is not as aggressive.  I only wish he were.  Hence the
virtues of this medium, and the utter misery in which we pretend to live

Avoidance of aggression remains avoidance, Mephistophelean denial.  Talk
is reduced only by those who deem it so, by those who are at a loss for

I am interested in avoiding nothing!  I think I know when it is time to
retreat and reflect, and when I feel like acting, I act in fullest
(often quixotic) confidence.  The times in which we live are fiercely
unintellectual.  Why deny the real challenge?

I want to come at "the problem," but I distrust the well-trod path.

Yes, MB sees language, logos, and ego as bleeding through one another. 
How stand outside this?  By appreciating a clown or pirate, for example,
for what makes them what they unpredictably are, especially when
stripped of all recognizable paraphernalia.
I drank the tea--it was insipid, sweet, bitter, a sad mixuture--I
returned to a sort of silence (earlier, I think I had thrown myself into
a conversation that was barely under control and over which still
floated a grandiose satisfaction) (MB _When the Time Comes_, 39).

With a grandiose nod in the face of the chaos of control,

Don Socha


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