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Blanchot’s Vigilance: Literature, Phenomenology and the by Lars Iyer (auth.)

By Lars Iyer (auth.)

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Sample text

What he was seeking and what he found was himself – the one for whom possibility was possible. But this does not convince. Perhaps it was that the young man wanted his beloved before he wanted himself; what he sought, first of all, a relation that was not a self-relation. He looked for a newness or novelty that would come from without – the shattering experience of the Other – and the book should have ended, perhaps, with this experience or his suicide. Who is the Other? His beloved? God? Constantius comments that if the young man were religious, he would never have become a poet.

63 The details of the story are not there to contribute to the verisimilitude of the story, fleshing out a world which is never substantial enough. Symbolic literature is not content with narrating a story which takes place in the world and remains in the world. There is an absence, a lack beyond the fullness of narrative incident. 64 The symbolic tale aims not to retrace a narrative, but to indicate its negation. This is not simply the erasure of a story, but the story of an erasure, as though at one and the same time, the story were possible and impossible.

The bad infinite of sensuousness unbound from the Idea cannot be understood as part of the positive sense of the whole. It repeats itself by affirming the neutral double of the world, the dimension of materiality which resists the light of meaning and truth. 67 Symbolic literature does not seek so much to realise a world as to derealise it, to press upon the reader the experience of the failure of signification. The work is not a finished masterpiece that would celebrate the movement of life, but a black hole, a point of infinite density which draws the reader across its event horizon.

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