As if what was greatest about these artists (and there are others — Duras, say) is a kind of asceticism that leads them through their art as though it preceded it; as though writing (or painting, or filmmaking) was only a means, just as Zen can combine with both the art of archery and that of flower arranging. A kind of asceticism, a great sobriety that can lead a right-wing monarchist Catholic like Blanchot, young and privileged, very far from himself. Who is he, become writer? Who does he become?

Vague questions poorly posed. But I wonder in my foolishness whether there is not a kind of ethics in writing, in filmmaking, in painting… an art of life from the perspective of which (from its great heights) one would not laugh at Giacometti’s prose. This question, though: are we (this ‘we’ again — how laughable!) not too late for that, too late altogether? That asceticism must also be combined with a terrible self-mockery, an unsparing suspicion as the importance of writing, of painting, of filmmaking disappears altogether (only an idiot would call himself a poet; only a fool an artist. And who could call themselves a philosopher? Laughable, all laughable).

Spurious

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