File spoon-archives/blanchot.archive/blanchot_1999/blanchot.9903, message 43

Date: Wed, 10 Mar 1999 16:00:31 +0000
Subject: MB: Criticism and Writing in MB

I find for my part that the question of the relationship between
philosophical and critical writing and fiction writing (all of these words
require considerable rethinking in Blanchot's case) is crucially important
in Blanchot.  It's important, however, to avoid the two usual pitfalls that
open up when this is considered, i.e. the view that in his critical or
philsophical texts Blanchot is writing only about himself (his own fiction)
or, conversely, the view that his fiction serves mainly to illustrate the
fictional writings.  Both approaches are to my mind mistaken.  Instead, we
need to find a way of thinking MB's fiction as constituting in itself a
philosophical (and more than philosophical) act, and thinking how MB's
critical and philosophical writings (as Derrida puts it) question
philosophy (as well as a lot of literature) from the perspective of an
experience that is irreducible to it (to them). 

On these lines, let me cite one of my favourite passages from The Writing
of the Disaster): =91to write in ignorance and without regard for the
philosophical horizon, a horizon punctuated, gathered together or dispersed
by the words that delimit it, is necessarily to write with facile
complacency (the literature of elegance and good taste).  H=F6lderlin,
Mallarmé, so many others, do not allow us this=92 (p. 103). 

Leslie Hill
Department of French Studies
University of Warwick
United Kingdom
fax: + 44 (0)1203 524679


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