The Work of Fire

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Stanford University Press, 1995 - Literary Collections - 344 pages
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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Contents

Kafka and Literature
12
The Myth of Mallarmé
27
Mystery in Literature
43
The Paradox of Aytré
61
The Language of Fiction
74
René Char
98
The Sacred Speech of Hölderlin III
111
Baudelaires Failure
132
The Sleep of Rimbaud
153
Translated From
176
The Novels of Sartre
191
A Note on Malraux
208
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About the author (1995)

Maurice Blanchot, 1907 - Novelist and critic Maurice Blanchot was born in 1907. Some of his works in translation include "Death Sentence" (1978), "The Gaze of Orpheus" (1981), "Madness of the Day" (1988), "The One Who Was Standing Apart From Me" (1993), all of which were translated by Lydia Davis, and "Michel Foucault as I Imagine Him" (translated by Jeffrey Mehlman, 1987).

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