Understanding Blanchot, Understanding Modernism

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Christopher Langlois
Bloomsbury Academic, Jun 14, 2018 - Literary Criticism - 344 pages
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Maurice Blanchot occupies a central though still-overlooked position in the Anglo-American reception of 20th-century continental philosophy and literary criticism. On the one hand, his rigorous yet always-playful exchanges with the most challenging figures of the philosophical and literary canons of modernity have led thinkers such as Georges Bataille, Emmanuel Levinas, Jacques Derrida, and Michel Foucault to acknowledge Blanchot as a major influence on the development of literary and philosophical culture after World War II. On the other hand, Blanchot's reputation for frustrating readers with his difficult style of thought and writing has resulted in a missed opportunity for leveraging Blanchot in advancing the most essential discussions and debates going on today in the comparative study of literature, philosophy, politics, history, ethics, and art. Blanchot's voice is simply too profound, too erudite, and too illuminating of what is at stake at the intersections of these disciplines not to be exercising more of an influence than it has in only a minority of intellectual circles.

Understanding Blanchot, Understanding Modernism brings together an international cast of leading and emergent scholars in making the case for precisely what contemporary modernist studies stands to gain from close inspection of Blanchot's provocative post-war writings.

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About the author (2018)

Christopher Langlois is Visiting Assistant Professor of Modern Literature at St. Lawrence University, USA, and the author of Samuel Beckett and the Terror of Literature (2017).

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