The Power of Contestation: Perspectives on Maurice Blanchot

The Power of Contestation: Perspectives on Maurice Blanchot


Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


One of the first French intellectuals to take a systematic interest in questions of language and meaning, Maurice Blanchot (1907–2003) substantially influenced such thinkers as Deleuze, Foucault, Barthes, Levinas, and Derrida. Until recently, Blanchot's work remained largely unknown outside France, in part because of its complexity and in part because Blanchot shunned intellectual celebrity. Over the past decade, however, nearly all of Blanchot's books have been translated into English, and worldwide interest in his fiction, cultural criticism, and philosophy has increased dramatically.

Kevin Hart and Geoffrey H. Hartman bring together essays by prominent scholars from a range of disciplines to focus on Blanchot's diverse concerns: literature, art, community, politics, ethics, spirituality, and the Holocaust. The volume takes its title from Blanchot's idea that literature is "a power of contestation: contestation of the established power, contestation of what is..., contestation of language and of the forms of literary language, finally contestation of itself as power." Tracing this concept as a central theme of Blanchot's writings, and exploring its scope and ambiguity, the contributors bring this seminal, but formidably difficult, intellect into sharper focus.

Contributors: Gerald L. Bruns, University of Notre Dame; Leslie Hill, University of Warwick; Michael Holland, St Hugh's College, Oxford; Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, University of Strasbourg; Vivian Liska, University of Antwerp; Jill Robbins, Emory University, and the editors.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801879623
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 10/15/2004
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.76(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Kevin Hart is a professor of English at the University of Notre Dame. Geoffrey H. Hartman is the Sterling Professor (Emeritus) of English and Comparative Literature at Yale University.

Table of Contents


1. An Event without Witness: Contestation between Blanchot and Bataille
2. Maurice Blanchot: The Spirit of Language after the Holocaust
3. Responding to the Infinity between Us: Blanchot reading Levinas in L'entretien infini
4. Two Sirens Singing: Literature as Contestation in Maurice Blanchot and Theodor W. Adorno
5. A Fragmentary Demand
6. Anarchic Temporality: Writing, Friendship, and the Ontology of the Work of Art in Maurice Blanchot's Poetics
7. The Contestation of Death
8. The COunter-spirital Life

Index of Names
Index of Topics

What People are Saying About This

Gerald Prince

A first-rate collection of essays on Maurice Blanchot, an outstanding writer, original thinker, and major figure in French modernity who exerted significant influence on many important postwar writers, critics, and philosophers, including Duras, Barthes, Foucault, Deleuze, de Man, and Derrida. All of the essays are interesting and acute, and the introduction is splendid.

Gerald Prince, University of Pennsylvania

Customer Reviews