Maurice Blanchot

By Ullrich Haase; William Large | Go to book overview

4

DEATH

From philosophy to literature

In this chapter we will investigate Blanchot's critique of the philosophical notion of death. Blanchot argues that such an investigation is necessary not only to find an answer to a philosophical question, but also in order to approach literature. This is why death plays such a central role in his meditation on literature, as one can see in some of the early essays like 'Literature and the Right to Death' (1948, WF 300-4), 'The Work and Death's Space' (1955, SL 85-159) or 'Literature and the Original Experience' (1952, SL 209-47), as well as in his later work, as, for example, in The Infinite Conversation (1969). The question of death concerns not only the end point of life, but the very meaning of writing. It is in relation to death that we first of all experience a feeling of dread, which relates us to a nothingness at the heart of our existence. And it is this experience, Blanchot argues, that gives rise to the demand of writing.

In the last chapter we have shown that the thought of death has been central to all Western philosophy. What Blanchot criticizes in respect to this tradition is that it reduces death to its 'positive' side, that is to say, to the activity and knowledge that arises from it. This desire of overcoming the dread of death is expressed in the dream of writing the definitive book, the most outstanding novel, which might bestow immortality on its author. But death cannot be overcome and the book, once written, always disappears in the face of the demand of the

-51-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Maurice Blanchot
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Series Editor's Preface vii
  • Abbreviations xi
  • Why Blanchot? 1
  • Key Ideas 9
  • 1 - What is Literature? 11
  • 2 - Language and Literature 25
  • 3 - Death and Philosophy 37
  • 4 - Death 51
  • 5 - Literature and Ethics 67
  • 6 - Blanchot as Nationalist 85
  • 7 - Ethics and Politics 97
  • 8 - The Literary Community 111
  • After Blanchot 129
  • Further Reading 135
  • Internet Resources 142
  • Index 143
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 147

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.