File spoon-archives/blanchot.archive/blanchot_1999/blanchot.9903, message 65

Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 14:27:58 +0000
Subject: Re: MB: Criticism and Writing in MB

At 17:59 11/03/99 +0000, you wrote:
>Dear Leslie, 
> 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).  
>I reckon the way you have allocated MB within a Derridian shelter makes that
>philosophical act a hermeneutical exegesis and commentary. Stepping outside
>philosophy is illusory. The reinscription of that perspective that is
>outside philosophy is just a functional juncture for the return of the
>question that works as a reasonable strategy for subverting certain
>hierarchical dualisms. In my own view, this creativity is not positive.
>Blanchot creates the philosophical concept within frames of paradoxes, not
>to just question, but to build a counter intuitive fictions, imaginary
>worlds or alternative universes in the manner of a Borges or a Le Guin.

Stepping outside philosophy may be illusory, but this does not mean
philosophy has no outside.  To claim this would be to subscribe to the view
that philosophy, as totalising logos, always knows the truth about its own
exteriority.  It has always been philosophy's ambition (and no doubt task)
to appropriate or incorporate what is other to it.  This is a movement that
Blanchot, on my reading, is constrained to resist, in the name not of the
night (which belongs to the light of reason), but the otherness of the
other night.  At the same time, it is clear for Blanchot (as for Levinas)
that this appeal to the other does not dispense him from traversing
philosophy, while not necessarily taking up residence within it.  Blanchot
has no truck with irrationalism.  But I think one can doubt whether
Blanchot is, in the convcentional sense of the term, a philosopher at all.
Blanchot, I would claim, creates no concepts.  The neuter is not a concept,
the outside is not a concept, disaster is not a concept, and so on.  Yes,
Blanchot's fictions are dedicated to an alternative universe, but only in
the sense (Blanchot himself puts it) that their object is not another
world, but the other of all world.  Would this apply in your view to Borges
or Le Guin?



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