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Lautréamont and Sade (Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics) Paperback – July 9, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics
  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press; 1 edition (July 9, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804750351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804750356
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,327,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

In Lautréamont and Sade, originally published in 1949, Maurice Blanchot forcefully distinguishes his critical project from the major intellectual currents of his day, surrealism and existentialism. Today, Lautréamont and Sade, these unique figures in the histories of literature and thought, are as crucially relevant to theorists of language, reason, and cruelty as they were in post-war Paris.
“Sade’s Reason,” in part a review of Pierre Klossowski’s Sade, My Neighbor, was first published in Les Temps modernes. Blanchot offers Sade’s reason, a corrosive rational unreasoning, apathetic before the cruelty of the passions, as a response to Sartre’s Hegelian politics of commitment.
“The Experience of Lautréamont,” Blanchot’s longest sustained essay, pursues the dark logic of Maldoror through the circular gravitation of its themes, the grinding of its images, its repetitive and transformative use of language, and the obsessive metamorphosis of its motifs. Blanchot’s Lautréamont emerges through this search for experience in the relentless unfolding of language. This treatment of the experience of Lautréamont unmistakably alludes to Georges Bataille’s “inner experience.”
Republishing the work in 1963, Blanchot prefaced it with an essay distinguishing his critical practice from that of Heidegger.

About the Author

Stanford has published five other works by Maurice Blanchot: The Book to Come (2003), Faux Pas (2001), The Instant of My Death (Blanchot)/Demeure: Fiction and Testimony (Jacques Derrida) (2000), Friendship (1997), and The Work of Fire (1995).

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marked Wayne on August 28, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
'Lautreamont and Sade' is a compilation of two essays, each focusing solely upon the titular authors, the Marquis de Sade and the Comte de Lautreamont.
While Blanchot's essay on Sade consistently reveals new insight into the work of this controversial deviant philosopher, his examination of Lautreamont (which is considerably longer for reasons obvious to anyone familiar with the two) is the true gem, being a much-needed and all-too-rare analysis of the two books that the enigmatic author wrote before his death at the age of 24: 'Maldoror' and 'Poems.'
'Maldoror' is the work to which the most time is devoted, as it is the more difficult of the two and, according to Blanchot, the first part of a two-part dialectic of good and evil of which the second was the oft-overlooked 'Poems.' 'Maldoror,' which consists of strange, often paradoxical metaphors and off-the-wall symbolism is given its long-overdue tribute here, as Blanchot attempts to give his interpretation of what is often referred to as the first true surrealist novel. He "decrypts" modestly, constantly reminding the reader (and perhaps himself) that 'Maldoror' is ultimately a work that, at the end of the day, speaks for itself in that no one save for the long-dead author himself could possibly explain the method behind the madness. Yet Blanchot still manages to make as much sense of the book as is humanly possible, and in reading the essay one can't help but get the feeling that one is reading the third and final chapter in Lautreamont's epic masterpiece. Highly recommended.
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