Maurice Blanchot and Fragmentary Writing: A Change of Epoch by Leslie Hill

By Leslie Hill

Writing in fragments is frequently held to be the most specified signature results of Romantic, glossy, and postmodern literature. yet what's the fragment, and what will be acknowledged to be its literary, philosophical, and political importance? Few writers have explored those questions with such probing radicality and rigorous tenacity because the French author and philosopher Maurice Blanchot.

For the 1st time in any language, this ebook explores intimately Blanchot's personal writing in fragments to be able to understand  the stakes of the fragmentary inside of philosophical and literary modernity. It attends intimately to every of Blanchot's fragmentary works (Awaiting Forgetting, The Step now not Beyond, and The Writing of the Disaster) and reconstructs Blanchot's radical serious engagement with the philosophical and literary culture, particularly with Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Heraclitus, Levinas, Derrida, Nancy, Mallarmé, Char, and others, and assesses Blanchot's account of politics, Jewish suggestion, and the Shoah, in order to knowing the stakes of fragmentary writing in Blanchot and inside of philosophical and literary modernity in general.   

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The future however remained bleak, and the prospect of infinite overcoming that the Nietzschean overman seemed to promise was no different: for it was merely a continuation or, more accurately, a culmination of the same unremitting, centuries-old history of metaphysics. The present epoch, though endless, nevertheless had its limits. This is what Heidegger gleaned from the temporal structure of his second proposition, which, in the form of a ‘not yet’, implied an essentially futural dimension. What it was that required thinking, according to Heidegger, as the fundamental question of this (and any other) epoch, was the crucial twofold of Being and being(s), in other words, the ontological difference.

100 What the experience implied, then, was not residual recognition, but compelling exteriority. Humans, then, could be destroyed; and yet a trace or inscription survived, not as an entity, not in the form of anything necessarily human or non-human, but as that which testified to the impotence of the negative, and therefore resisted, beyond all power. Like death itself, perhaps, it might be what provided the possible grounds for discourse, history, action, work, negativity, but, as for itself, so to speak, it necessarily withdrew from those possibilities, which is no doubt why it cannot be named as such, only as an absolute limit.

Schlegel] takes the fragment back to the aphorism, that is, to the closure of a perfect sentence. 58 Two versions, two turnings, two understandings of the fragment come into focus here: the one, attributed to Schlegel, appeals to the interiority, wholeness, and solipsism of self; the other, articulated by Blanchot, affirms exteriority, dispersion, otherness. 59 30 Maurice Blanchot and Fragmentary Writing But how tenable, how reliable is the distinction? 60 With good reason – for there is nothing about the fragment or the fragmentary that is ever completely decided.

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