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Maurice Blanchot and the literature of transgression

Author: John Gregg
Publisher: Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, ©1994.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
In this book, the first in English devoted exclusively to Maurice Blanchot, John Gregg examines the problematic interaction between the two forms of discourse, critical and fictional, that comprise this writer's hybrid oeuvre. In so doing, he provides a lucid introduction to the thought of one of the most important figures on the French intellectual scene of the past half-century.
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Named Person: Maurice Blanchot; Maurice Blanchot; Maurice Blanchot
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: John Gregg
ISBN: 0691033293 9780691033297
OCLC Number: 28631545
Description: 241 p. ; 25 cm.
Contents: 1. Literature and Transgression --
2. Language, History, and Their Destinies of Incompletion --
3. Blanchot's Suicidal Artist: Writing and the (Im)Possibility of Death --
4. Mythical Portrayals of Writing and Reading --
5. Writing the Disaster: Henri Sorge's Journal. Silencing the Critics of the State. An Awkward Silence. The Crisis of (Mis)Representation. The Poetics of Writing the Disaster. Ink-Stained Pages. Sorge's "Fable" and Fragments on Narcissus. Sorge's Revolt --
6. Flagrants Delits: Caught in the Act of Self-Reading. Discreet Violations of the Noli. Getting Started, Finishing Up: The Pro/Epilogue of L'Attente l'oubli. Putting Their Story into Words. Perspectives of Authority. The Reversal. Flagrants delits. Qui parle? De Man's Blind Spot. The Law of the Genre --
Conclusion: Blanchot's Postmodern Legacy.
Responsibility: John Gregg.
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Abstract:

In this book, the first in English devoted exclusively to Maurice Blanchot, John Gregg examines the problematic interaction between the two forms of discourse, critical and fictional, that comprise this writer's hybrid oeuvre. In so doing, he provides a lucid introduction to the thought of one of the most important figures on the French intellectual scene of the past half-century.

Gregg Organizes his discussion around the notion of transgression, which Blanchot himself took over from Georges Bataille - most palpably in his interpretation of the myth of Orpheus - as a paradigm capable of accounting for the relationships that exist in the textual economies formed by author, work, and reader.

Chapters treating the major tenets of Blanchot's critical work address such issues as Blanchot's ambivalent attitude toward the speculative dialectic of Hegelianism, his thematization of literature's involvement with death, and the mythical and Biblical figures he uses to portray the acts of reading and writing. Gregg then performs extended close readings of two representative works of fiction, Le Tres-Haut and L'Attente l'oubli in an effort to trace Blanchot's evolution as a creator of narratives and to ascertain how his fiction can be seen as constituting a mise en oeuvre of the concerns he treats in his criticism.

Whereas at first glance the law and transgressions of the law would seem to correspond respectively to the activities of critical reading and creative writing, Gregg discovers that a transgressive rapport of circularity which moves incessantly between writing and reading is present within each of these moments.

This book concludes with an assessment of Blanchot's place in the recent history of French critical theory, in which Gregg draws parallels between Blanchot's work and that of diverse poststructuralist thinkers who have followed in his wake, including Jean-Francois Lyotard, Gilles Deleuze, Jean Baudrillard, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Derrida.

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