The Work of Fire
Maurice Blanchot is arguably the key figure after Sartre in exploring the relation between literature and philosophy. Blanchot developed a distinctive, limpid form of essay writing; these essays, in form and substance, left their imprint on the work of the most influential French theorists. The writings of Barthes, Foucault, and Derrida are unimaginable without Blanchot. Published in French in 1949, The Work of Fire is a collection of twenty-two essays originally published in literary journals. Certain themes recur repeatedly: the relation of literature and language to death; the significance of repetition; the historical, personal, and social function of literature; and simply the question what is at stake in the fact that something such as art or literature exists? Among the authors discussed are Kafka, Mallarme;, Hölderlin, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Sartre, Gide, Pascal, Vale;ry, Hemingway, and Henry Miller.
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Kafka and Literature
The Myth of Mallarmé
Mystery in Literature
The Paradox of Aytré
The Language of Fiction
The Sacred Speech of Hölderlin III
The Sleep of Rimbaud
The Novels of Sartre
A Note on Malraux
absence absolute abyss already ambiguity appears assert automatic writing awareness Aytré Baudelaire become beginning Brice Parain capable Charles du Bos completely condemned contradiction dead death demand disappear distance dream emptiness endlessly everything existence experience expression faith Faust feeling fiction freedom Gide give grasp happens Hegel Hölderlin hope idea impossibility infinite instant Jean Paulhan Kafka lack language Lautréamont literary literature live longer Maldoror Mallarmé Max Brod meaning metamorphosis Michel Leiris mind movement mystery narrative nature negation never Nietzsche nothingness novel object oneself Pascal passion perhaps poem poet poetic poetry possible present pure question reader reality realized recognize remains René Char Rimbaud Robert Jordan Sacred seeks seems sentence signifies silence solitude sometimes speak speech stop story strange surrealism surrealists symbol things thought tion translated true truth understand unreal Valéry wants words write