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After Blanchot: Literature, Criticism, Philosophy

Edited by Leslie Hill, Brian Nelson, and Dimitris Vardoulakis

         ISBN: 0-87413-946-5

         Published in 2006

         $34.99 (paperback)

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What does it mean to come after Blanchot? First, it is to recognize that it is no longer possible to believe in an essentialist determination of literary discourse or of aesthetic experience. Second, there is the question of history. What is Blanchot's legacy to us, his readers? Any name, however irreplaceably singular, is always already preceded, limited, challenged even, by the abiding anonymity of the person, animal, or thing it claims to name. Blanchot "after Blanchot," then, can best be understood in the sense of that which is "according to Blanchot"—and that is nothing other than the infinite process of reading and rereading Blanchot: without end. Here, a third meaning to the phrase "after Blanchot" comes into view. For if we come after Blanchot, it is surely because Blanchot is still before us, still in front, still in the future, still to come. All of the contributors to this volume respond to this problematic. The present collection of essays spans a wide area of concern. From an investigation of the notion of the neuter to Blanchot's significance for art, from the way that the sacred and the ethical arise in response to diverse demands to the political projects of Blanchot's fiction and criticism, After Blanchot offers material that will excite all those who are familiar with his work, and is also an ideal entry point for the novice. Leslie Hill teaches in the Department of French Studies at the University of Warwick. Brian Nelson teaches at Monash University. Dimitris Vardoulakis teaches at the Victorian College of the Arts.

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