Category Archives: Blanchot

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)

I was beginning to sink into poverty

I was beginning to sink into poverty. Slowly, it was drawing circles around me; the first seemed to leave me everything, the last would leave me only myself. One day, I found myself confined in the city; travelling was no longer more than a fantasy.

I had no enemies. No one bothered me. Sometimes a vast solitude opened in my head and the entire world disappeared inside it, but came out again intact, without a scratch, with nothing missing.

— Blanchot, ‘The Madness of the Day’

Her personal night

All that which Anne still loved, silence and solitude, were called night. All that which Anne hated, silence and solitude, were also called night. Absolute night where there were no longer any contradictory terms, where those who suffered were happy, where white found a common substance with black. And yet, night without confusion, without monsters, before which, without closing her eyes, she found her personal night, the one which her eyelids habitually created for her as they closed. Fully conscious, full of clarity, she felt her night join the night. She discovered herself in this huge exterior night in the core of her being, no longer needing to pass before a bitter and tormented soul to arrive at peace. She was sick, but how good this sickness was, this sickness which was not her own and which was the health of the world!

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

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)

Around his body, he knew that his thought, mingled with the night, kept watch.

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

Not to write — what a long way there is to go before arriving at that point.

— Blanchot (via This Space)