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An essay over on Mike Duff's The Joyful Knowing blog entitled Blanchot and Hegel's abstract negativity that I'll respond to at the weekend. For now, the opening lines:


In Literature and the Right to Death, Maurice Blanchot invokes, like Bataille throughout his Inner Experience, the concept of pure nothing, (or, as a power, a becoming) abstract negativity, that Hegel defines early on in the Master-Slave dialectic in the Phenomenology of Spirit as well as in the beginning of the Science of Logic. The use for this is clear, and also aptly summarizes what I think Bataille thinks of it also, with respect to the work of literature. Blanchot says that "Literature professes to be important while at the same time considering itself an object of doubt," in the sense that it, "by its very activity, denies the substance of what it represents" and thus is "its own negation".

Readers Comments

  1. hiya, Mark. I just wanted to send you a podcast I found in the New York Times, Sunday section on books. I thought it was relevant. Above all, there seems to be a disconnect here in the States in that all philosophical novels are directly associated with Sartre's "existentialism". In particular, there was no mention of Blanchot's influence on modernist writers or writing in general!

    Anyway, just in case it might interest people here here's the link: http://podcasts.nytimes.com/podcasts/2007/02/23/24bookupdate.mp3

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