Search Results

Advanced Search

1 to 15 of 16 results

Sort by:

Filter by:


Article Types


On the Verge of Collapse

John Sturrock, 19 August 1982

The Siren’s Song 
by Maurice Blanchot, edited by Gabriel Josipovici and Sacha Rabinovich.
Harvester, 255 pp., £20, June 1982, 0 85527 738 6
Show More
Show More
... The Siren’s Song is the first chance English readers have had to experience Maurice Blanchot. If it is the case, as Gabriel Josipovici pre-emptively asserts in his introduction, that Blanchot ‘is, with Walter Benjamin, the finest literary critic of the century’, then we have been grievously remiss in leaving him for so long untranslated ...

Short Cuts

Joanna Biggs: Marguerite Duras, 6 October 2016

... dusk. Home, she thought, ought to be open to the outside: to her friends Georges Bataille and Maurice Blanchot, to Alain Resnais and Delphine Seyrig, to those who simply rang the bell on the rue Saint-Benoît, like the Italian journalist Leopoldina Pallotta della Torre. (It helped that she had brought a hunk of Parmesan; it was noon, the 73-year-old ...


Philip Terry, 6 May 2021

... now I think it was grappling with something deeper.The sudden stop – ‘l’arrêt de mort’ as Maurice Blanchot called it – takes us back to the ʘ my father added to ‘Mid-Term Break’. If this ʘ symbolises frogspawn, as the comma comes to symbolise tadpoles, it suggests one reason my father would have wished to make this substitution: the ...

I came with a sword

Toril Moi: Simone Weil’s Way, 1 July 2021

The Subversive Simone Weil: A Life in Five Ideas 
by Robert Zaretsky.
Chicago, 181 pp., £16, February 2021, 978 0 226 54933 0
Show More
Show More
... caught – possibly jeopardising the lives of others – was too high. Although her good friend Maurice Schumann (later foreign secretary under de Gaulle) patiently explained why nobody in their right mind would send her on a secret mission, Weil reproached him. Why would such an intelligent woman fight so tenaciously for such quixotic projects? Maybe the ...

Who’s Who

Geoffrey Galt Harpham, 20 April 1995

Subjective Agency: A Theory of First-Person Expressivity and its Social Implications 
by Charles Altieri.
Blackwell, 306 pp., £40, August 1994, 1 55786 129 3
Show More
Show More
... celebrated the triumph of this conviction. With essays by Derrida, Etienne Balibar, Luce Irigaray, Maurice Blanchot, Emmanuel Levinas and Gilles Deleuze, this book both established the distinctly French provenance of the dead-subject argument and, in characteristically French fashion, ‘put into question’ that argument itself by implying that another ...

A Human Kafka

Gabriel Josipovici, 5 March 1981

The World of Franz Kafka 
edited by J.P. Stern.
Weidenfeld, 263 pp., £9.95, January 1981, 0 297 77845 5
Show More
Show More
... and ambiguous texture of Kafka’s art. Chief among these were the voices of Walter Benjamin, Maurice Blanchot, Marthe Robert and Erich Heller. Heller’s essay on The Castle in The Disinherited Mind (1952) marked a real turning point. He argued persuasively that it was folly to go on debating whether Kafka was religious or anti-religious, Marxist or ...


John Burnside: Visits from the Night Hag, 27 September 2018

... who populate the ‘real world’. ‘There is between sleep and us something like a pact,’ Maurice Blanchot says, ‘a treaty with no secret clauses, and according to this convention it is agreed that, far from being a dangerous, bewitching force, sleep will become domesticated and serve as an instrument of our power to act. We surrender to ...

The Politics of Translation

Marina Warner: Translate this!, 11 October 2018

This Little Art 
by Kate Briggs.
Fitzcarraldo, 365 pp., £12.99, September 2017, 978 1 910695 45 6
Show More
Translation as Transhumance 
by Mireille Gansel, translated by Ros Schwartz.
Les Fugitives, 150 pp., £10, November 2017, 978 0 9930093 3 4
Show More
Sympathy for the Traitor: A Translation Manifesto 
by Mark Polizzotti.
MIT, 168 pp., £17.99, May 2018, 978 0 262 03799 0
Show More
The 100 Best Novels in Translation 
by Boyd Tonkin.
Galileo, 304 pp., £14.99, June 2018, 978 1 903385 67 8
Show More
The Work of Literary Translation 
by Clive Scott.
Cambridge, 285 pp., £75, June 2018, 978 1 108 42682 4
Show More
Show More
... interpolations’ after she listened ‘more carefully to what it [the text] was telling me’. Maurice Blanchot once wrote that translators are ‘the silent masters of culture’. Kate Briggs amends this, commenting that Blanchot wrote ‘hidden masters of culture’ and that it’s ‘our recognition’ of ...

Unhappy Man

P.N. Furbank, 22 July 1993

The Lives of Michel Foucault 
by David Macey.
Hutchinson, 599 pp., £20, June 1993, 0 09 175344 9
Show More
The Passion of Michel Foucault 
by James Miller.
HarperCollins, 491 pp., £18, June 1993, 0 00 255267 1
Show More
Show More
... duty was to confront the void that lies beyond the limits of language. When a writer like Maurice Blanchot takes language to its limits, he wrote, ‘what it finds is not a positivity that contradicts it, but the void that will obliterate it’. This void is, to use Miller’s words, ‘the occluded, Dionysian dimension of being human’, and to ...

‘Ulysses’ and Its Wake

Tom McCarthy, 19 June 2014

... into something up to the job. These are the terms under which Un coup de dés is written. But, as Maurice Blanchot points out, Mallarmé didn’t see Un coup de dés as the realisation of this: rather ‘it is its reserve and its forever hidden presence, the risk of its venture, the measure of its limitless challenge’. Reserve, risk, venture: the ...

Peas in a Matchbox

Jonathan Rée: ‘Being and Nothingness’, 18 April 2019

Being and Nothingness: An Essay in Phenomenology and Ontology 
by Jean-Paul Sartre, translated by Sarah Richmond.
Routledge, 848 pp., £45, June 2019, 978 0 415 52911 2
Show More
Show More
... Meanwhile the entertainment industry in Paris was flourishing: performers like Mistinguett, Maurice Chevalier, Django Reinhardt, Tino Rossi, Charles Trenet and Edith Piaf, abetted by the jazz-inspired youth culture of the zazous, offered the Germans opportunities for rest and recreation that scarcely existed back home. On top of that, the occupying ...

Outside in the Bar

Patrick McGuinness: Ten Years in Sheerness, 21 October 2021

The Sea View Has Me Again: Uwe Johnson in Sheerness 
by Patrick Wright.
Repeater, 751 pp., £20, June, 978 1 913462 58 1
Show More
Show More
... to expect. His article is too nuanced to please his boss. Shortly after the novel was published, Maurice Blanchot gave a talk about Berlin after the Wall: ‘Omniscience, even if it were possible, would be of no use in this case … the panoramic view is not a true view.’ The only writer he cited was Johnson. ...

At the Crime Scene

Adam Shatz: Robbe-Grillet’s Bad Thoughts, 31 July 2014

A Sentimental Novel 
by Alain Robbe-Grillet, translated by D.E. Brooke.
Dalkey Archive, 142 pp., £9.50, April 2014, 978 1 62897 006 7
Show More
Show More
... becomes the real story of Le Voyeur. The novel’s ‘clarity reveals everything except itself’, Maurice Blanchot wrote in his magisterial review. ‘It is as if we were seeing everything, without anything being visible. The result is strange.’ Robbe-Grillet’s mother said it was ‘a fine book’, though she would rather it had not been written by ...

The Deconstruction Gang

S.L. Goldberg, 22 May 1980

Deconstruction and Criticism 
by Harold Bloom, Paul de Man, Jacques Derrida, Geoffrey Hartman and J. Hillis Miller.
Routledge, 256 pp., £8.95, January 1980, 0 7100 0436 2
Show More
Show More
... Even the literary texts they take here – various works by John Ashbery, Shelley, Wordsworth and Maurice Blanchot – get so thoroughly devoured that they lose any intrinsic interest they might have had for him (which isn’t much); and while he probably won’t understand most of the book if he does attempt to read it, he will find it made pretty plain ...

Book of Bad Ends

Paul Keegan: French Short Stories, 7 September 2023

The Penguin Book of French Short Stories: Vol I 
edited by Patrick McGuinness.
Penguin Classics, 483 pp., £30, October 2022, 978 0 241 46199 0
Show More
The Penguin Book of French Short Stories: Vol II 
edited by Patrick McGuinness.
Penguin Classics, 352 pp., £30, October 2022, 978 0 241 46205 8
Show More
Show More
... Maurice Blanchot​ , represented in this anthology by the opaque and mesmerising ‘The Madness of the Day’ (1949), wrote that a story is not the relation of an event but the event itself. It seems true that short stories are often less easy to summarise than novels, with no need to tidy loose ends, or even any obligation to end, and that their content often communicates something other than their subject, as if, at certain levels of compression, brevity starts to tell its own story ...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences