Category Archives: Blanchot

At no risk

Investigations on the subject of art such as those the aesthetician pursues bear no relation to the concern for the work of which we speak. Aesthetics talks about art, makes of it an object of reflection and of knowledge. Aesthetics explains art by reducing it or then again exults by elucidating it, but in all events art for the aesthetican is a present reality around which he constructs plausible thoughts at no risk.

— Blanchot, The Space of Literature (tr. Smock)

But at the same time, a death that results in being represents an absurd insanity, the curse of existence—which contains within itself both death and being and is neither being nor death. Death ends in being: this is man’s hope and his task, because nothingness itself helps to make the world, nothingness is the creator of the world in man as he works and understands. Death ends in being: this is man’s laceration, the source of his unhappy fate, since by man death comes to being and by man meaning rests on nothingness.

— Blanchot, ‘Literature and the Right to Death’ (tr. Davis)

In writing, he has put himself to the test as a nothingness at work, and after having written, he puts his work to the test as something in the act of disappearing.

— Blanchot, ‘Literature and the Right to Death’ (tr. Davis)

He perceived all the strangeness there was in being observed by a word as if by a living being, and not simply by one word, but by all the words that were contained in that word, by all those that went with it and in turn contained other words, like a procession of angels opening out into the infinite to the very eye of the absolute.

– Blanchot, Thomas the Obscure (tr. R. Lamberton)

The name

Through the name of God we can orient our attention towards the true God, situated beyond our reach, not conceived. Without this gift, we would only have a false earthly God, conceivable by us. Only this name allows us to have a Father who is in a heaven that we know nothing about.

Weil (via here)

Any authority, any originality I could hope to have is always derived from him, from his, which I know he would detest. It is that detestation that I love. That was Blanchot’s gift, his gift to me who would accept it openly and without guilt.

James Griffith (via here)

They take seats, separated by a table, turned not toward one another, but opening, around the table that separates them, an interval large enough that another person might consider himself their true interlocutor, the one for whom they would speak if they addressed themselves to him.

— Blanchot, The Infinite Conversation (tr. S. Hanson)