Britain's first book blogger (November 2000). Also available in book form.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Reading backwards

I've decided to read Blanchot's books backwards. One can lose concentration reading the 54th entry in a collection like Faux Pas. So this time, I'm going to start with the very last piece: On Insolence Considered as One of the Fine Arts, a review of Solitice de juin by Henry de Montherlant.

The twelfth piece in Faux Pas is one of Blanchot's most thrilling essays: How is Literature Possible? It's a review-essay from 1941 of Jean Paulhan's The Flowers of Tarbes: or, Terror in Literature, a book that remained untranslated until the University of Illinois Press published it this month. Well done to it and translator Michael Syrotinski.

As I believe How is Literature Possible? demands attention from those engaged in the struggle for a renewal of literature in this country, I will attempt a précis of it in the near future. If it causes a deep, dark silence to descend on the literary community, it will have done its job.

1 comment:

  1. Will Large10:52 am

    I agree Steve. It is one of Blanchot's most important essays; the seed for everything else. But you are going to attempt to summarise it - what madness!



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