File spoon-archives/blanchot.archive/blanchot_1997/blanchot.9712, message 8

Date: Tue, 02 Dec 1997 15:58:31 -0500
Subject: Re: MB: The Writer and Place

I find the question of place and literature a provocative one, though I think I
think of it perhaps a bit differently than you present it here. What you  seem
to have in mind with place seems similar to what J.H. Miller has in mind when he
writes about topographies (in the book by that title) and indeed he claims that
such a 'geographics' reference can be seen in the most abstract writer,
including Blanchot.
	When I think about place and literature, I have in mind a less geographic
space, but also not an altogether abstract, Kantianesque space either.  I'm
interested in words, setences, etc. as excerting an amost gravitational force on
a 'semantic' space, condensing it here while rarifying it there.  I must say,
though, that describing this space is difficult, and one seems always to resort
of the geographical where I'd like to distinguish the topological.  In other
words, I think that with Blanchot's space is less geographical than topological
even if one understands the latter *initially* in its mathematical sense.


Samuel J Saks wrote:
> Hello everyone. I have been thinking this past week about the
> relationships between the writer and place and place and subject matter
> in literature. (If this is not directly related to MB I am sorry but I am
> pretty certain it is.) To what extent is the writer involved in place? I
> don't mean the settings in his writing. I mean the setting of his
> writing, where he writes. Perhaps there is no clear rule about this (how
> often are there rules with regards to literature? To what extent is
> literature a breaking of all rules?) but I think that there are very
> interesting cases where the writer and place are opposite. I think of
> Joyce here. His facination with Ireland even though he was exiled from it
> his whole life. And Faulkner, etc. I think it happens that sometimes
> writers get "stuck" in a certain place. But does this "place" affect the
> subject of their writing? In most cases I think it does. But is there the
> same inverse relationship? Sometimes the writer seems utterly facinated
> by what/where he is not. I guess my question is: Is this the case? And if
> so, do we see it in Blanchot at all?


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