Thursday, April 07, 2011

What are we looking for?

The appearance of these texts in English [described by Derrida as ‘some of the finest political tracts ever written’] is immensely valuable, and will enable readers not so much to see what Blanchot’s work would have looked like had it been completed, but to grasp that the notion of completion is only part of the fragmentary writing he was beginning to explore in this period. This can be seen in his own discussion of the posthumous editing of Nietzsche, when he asks: ‘What are we looking for in these fragile texts? Something that cannot be found in any text, the hors-texte, the word that is de trop, in order that it should not miss its appointment with the completion of Complete Works, or on the contrary, in order that it should be forever missing?’.
John McKeane reviews Maurice Blanchot's Political Writings: 1953-1993.

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