File spoon-archives/blanchot.archive/blanchot_1999/blanchot.9903, message 22

Date: Tue, 9 Mar 1999 10:51:24 -0800
Subject: Re: MB: Re: inside, etc.- Afterword

George - I'd much appreciate an email of your afterword!



>Dear Claire--
>Interesting question--for whom does Blanchot write.... (A question I
>extrapolate from your message.)  It's obviously one of the most difficult
>kinds of questions, because to some extent it falsifies the issue by
>assuming that writing addresses someone. Yet it's inescapable that we hear
>it that way.  If you're a writer--I'm a poet, not an "academic" (a poet who
>reads "everything")--you can't help reading Blanchot as writing somehow to
>or into your process; he feeds it, he turns it back to itself, and he never
>really takes you away from it, even though he complicates it immeasurably.
>Some "academic" discourse has the effect of discouraging that process--for
>reasons which are rather mysterious, and certainly not a matter of one kind
>of activity versus another. Perhaps it's a matter of how much is on the
>line in a moment of discourse, how much is truly at stake.  In Blanchot one
>rarely doubts that everything is at stake at every point, right down to his
>Recently I edited _The Station Hill Blanchot Reader_ which contains most of
>the books by Blanchot we published under "Station Hill" over the past two
>decades.  For us it was immensely powerful to re-encounter an enormous
>amount of his work for that occasion, and I had an impulse somewhat like
>yours--to claim Blanchot for the art/literature side, because there is a
>danger that he would not be read side by side with Melville or Blake or
>Char or Mallarmé or the others he treated as "invisible partners," to
>borrow a term Bident invokes over and over in his biographic essay.  So I
>and my colleague Charles Stein wrote a piece as an afterword that
>essentially looks at Blanchot from the perspective of (American) poetics,
>raising the question of how Blanchot impacts "us"--meaning those of us who
>took the issues of poetics/discourse to heart, and the consequent "stance
>toward reality" (Charles Olson's term).  It offers one kind of "poet's
>reading" which we felt addresses a way of reading Blanchot that rarely
>shows up in formal writing (although some like Chris Fynsk we perceive as
>near neighbors).  Anyway, I would be interested in your response to our
>efforts in that direction, "Publishing Blanchot in America--A Metapoetic
>View."  (If you don't have the book I'd be happy to e-mail the piece to you
>or anyone else.)
>PS: I visited StudioCleo--extraordinary, both the work exhibited and the
>site itself.
>George Quasha
>Station Hill Press/Barrytown, Ltd.
> or The Institute for Publishing Arts, Inc.
>Barrytown, NY 12507
>> From: Claire Dinsmore <>
>> To:
>> Subject: MB: inside, etc.
>> Date: Tuesday, March 09, 1999 1:04 AM
>I'm curious:
>Does anyone on this list ever question these (and other such) notions in
>of creativity/the creator (artist/writer), instead of simply in academic
>terms?  It seems to me the ACT of creation is Blanchot's chief
>concern/obsession, not academic comparisons and distinctions. I'm not
>to say anything negative about the list - this has simply to do with my own
>interest in Blanchot.  I would very much like to hear any one else's ideas
>his perception of the act and engage in a discussion of it's meaning - both
>Blanchot's meaning, and those of other writers on this list.
>the floor is open and I await ...
>"We live in the dark.  We do what we can. We give what we have.
>Our doubt is our passion.  Our passion is our task.  The rest of the
>is art."
>- Henry James


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