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Jonathan Littell has written a commentary on a Maurice Blanchot piece that was itself first published in La Nouvelle Revue Française in 1958 (and later incorporated into L'espace littéraire). Littell's piece was written for the 100th anniversary issue of La Nouvelle Revue Française, published in February 2009. It was translated by Charlotte Mandell and, wonderfully, appears on This Space:


So what is this reading that Maurice Blanchot invites us to enact here, at once light and serious, a "joyful, wild dance," fundamental (founding the work) in its very insouciance? The first thing one could say about it is that it seems to us inseparable from his conception of writing as experience. "The story [le récit] is not the relation of the event, but that event itself," he wrote around the same time (in The Song of the Sirens, reprinted in The Book to Come). Writing does not describe, does not relate, does not signify, it does not represent a thing, existing in the world of men or even only in the world of the imagination; it is neither more nor less than "the test of its own experience" (more...)

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