BLANCHOT

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Eve’s Dropping 1
Gericault 3
Lequeu 3


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Encyclopedia
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Labyrinth
Mortality
Para-site

Maurice Blanchot

"The danger that the disaster acquire meaning instead of body."

"These dreams, which are so strong and which are linked to a transformation of art at a time when art is not yet present to itself- at a time when man, who believes he is the master of art, wants to make himself present, wants to be the one who creates and by creating escapes destruction even if only just barely- these dreams, then, are striking in this: they show 'creators' engaged in a profound relation with death."

"There is nothing secret, anywhere; this is what the secret always says.- All the while not saying it. For, with the words 'there is' and 'nothing,' the enigma continues to rule, preventing installation and repose."

"The disaster does not put me into question, but annuls the question, makes it disappear- as if along with the question, 'I' too disappeared in the disaster which never appears. The fact of disappearance is, precisely, not a fact, not an event; it does not happen, not only because there is no 'I' to undergo the experience, but because (and this is exactly what presupposition means), since the disaster always takes place after having taken place, there cannot possibly be any experience of it."

"He does not move toward a surer world, a finer or better justified world where everything would be ordered according to the clarity of the impartial light of day. He does not discover the admirable language which speaks honorably for all. What speaks in him is the fact that, in one way or another, he is no longer himself; he isn't anyone any more."

"If it weren't for prison, we would know that we are all already in prison."

"The secret escapes; it is never circumscribed; it makes itself boundless. What is hidden in it is the necessity of being hidden."

"Mysterious, that which exposes itself without being uncovered."

"The image, capable of negating nothingness, is also the gaze of nothingness on us. The image is light, and nothingness is immensely heavy. The image shines and nothingness is the diffuse thickness where nothing reveals itself. The image is the crack, the mark of this black sun, the tear, which, under the appearance of the dazzling burst, gives us the negative of the inexhaustible negative depth. That is why the image seems so profound and so empty, so threatening and so attractive, always rich in more senses than we lend it and also poor, void and silent, because in it advances this dark impotence, deprived of mastery, which is that of death as recommencement."

"It is language that is 'cryptic': not only as a totality that is exceeded and untheorizable, but inasmuch as it contains pockets, cavernous places where words become things, where the inside is out and thus inaccessible to any cryptanalysis whatever- for deciphering is required to keep the secret secret. The code no longer suffices. The translation is infinite. And yet we have to find the key word that opens and does not open."

"The stratagem of the secret is either to show itself, to make itself so visible that it isn't seen (to disappear, that is, as a secret), or to hint that the secret is only secret where there is not secret, or no appearance of any secret."

"To keep a secret- to refrain from saying some particular thing- presupposes that one could say it. This is nothing remarkable: it is merely a rather unpleasant kind of restraint.- Even so, it does relate to the question of the secret in general: to the fact (it is no fact) of wondering whether the secret is linked to there being still something left to say when all is said; it does suggest Saying (with its glorious capital), always in excess of everything said."

"To keep the secret is evidently to tell it as a nonsecret, inasmuch as it is not tellable."

"[T]he work-the work of art, the literary work- is neither finished nor unfinished: it is. What it says is exclusively this: that it is- and nothing more. Beyond that it is nothing. Whoever wants to make it express more finds nothing, finds that it expresses nothing. He whose life depends upon the work, either because he is a writer or because he is a reader, belongs to the solitude of that which expresses nothing except the word being: the word which language shelters by hiding it, or causes to appear when language itself disappears into the silent void of the work."

"The poet exists only if he foresees the time of the poem; he is second to the poem, of which he is nonetheless the creative power."

"The act of writing begins with Orpheus' gaze, and that gaze is the impulse of desire which shatters the song's destiny and concern, and in that inspired and unconcerned decision reaches the origin, consecrates the song. But Orpheus already needed the power of art in order to descend to that instant. This means: one can only write if one arrives at the instant towards which one can only move through space opened up by the movement of writing. In order to write one must already be writing. The essence of writing, the difficulty of experience and the leap of inspiration also lie within this contradiction."

"Shining solitude, the void of the sky, a deferred death: disaster."