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The Unavowable Community Paperback – June 1, 2006


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Frequently Bought Together

The Unavowable Community + Inoperative Community (Theory and History of Literature) + The Coming Community (Theory Out of Bounds, Vol. 1)
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For French thinker Blanchot, community can exist at many levelsin social groups, in the restricted "community of two" that unites lovers or friends, in sets whose members run the risk of losing their identities by merging with a collective ego. Indeed, the two essays in this short, frustrating book are most interesting when they deal with the perils of community. Blanchot cites the total communion that led a cult in Guyana to collective suicide. He also deconstructs the communitarian yearnings of French writer Georges Bataille. In the 1930s, Bataille and others sought refuge in myth and worshipped sensuality; their secret society held meetings around trees that had been struck by lightning. In Blanchot's second essay, on Marguerite Duras, he waxes lyrical over the May 1968 Paris student revolt. Both essays are difficult and often incomprehensible, due to either Blanchot's clotted, mind-numbing prose or the translationor both.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Through more than 40 years, the French writer maurice Blanchot has produced an astonishing body of fiction and criticism.... [a] profound theoretical investigation of the literature and those who make it.... --Gilbert Sorrentino, The New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 60 pages
  • Publisher: Station Hill Press; 1 edition (1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581771045
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581771046
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.4 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #263,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 24, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I have been reading and re-reading this nearly "page-less"(about 80 pages including the translator's introduction ) volume of ___?(what is it? autobiography?poetry?) for about 4 years now . I can't get it out of my mind. I was hard-pressed to read any philosophy until I tried this remarkable author's work. Since then, I've gradually made my way into this new kind of "inquiry" mainly from the inspiration he has provided in this particular volume. Blanchot was born in 1907 so he would have been nearly 80 years old when this was first published in France in 1983. It is difficult reading and you may come away from the initial reading perplexed. Stay with it. It takes some years getting used to this new way of comporting your "self" in the world which the author seems to offer as a kind and patronly "Instructor". Though it is only a few pages, I can't read it all at once. Instead I'll pick it up every few months and read some of it. Usually this is when I am trying to find someone (like Blanchot) who might want to talk to me about why things seem so hopeless in this technologically driven society. Blanchot even quotes another writer here (Edgar Morin) who expresses the view he(Blanchot) shares "in the possibility of another society and another humanity". This also reveals (even as it conceals) some of Blanchot's major themes including the mystery of "friendship", an "impossible" relation enigmatically exposed to the light of day, that is if we get a glimpse of it at all. ( I recall in another essay, these words that Blancot says have been attributed to Aristotle:"Oh my friends, there is no friend"). This might give some sense of the kind of measure and question Blanchot "risks" in each sentence he writes.Read more ›
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. Warshawsky on June 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
Dear "A Customer"
Thank you for your re-view, in which you offered such a clear, transparent view into your experience of reading. I was just purchasing this book which has intrigued me for some years, when I came across what you wrote. I wanted to tell you that I liked it very much. Good luck with your future explorations!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ben Brewer on December 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is, in large part although not only, a response to Jean-Luc Nancy's (critical) engagement with Georges Bataille, _The Inoperative Community_. I say "in large part," however, because this is a rich and rewarding text in its own right. Blanchot is one of the best readers of Bataille; it's not often that I find myself thinking that Nancy is being "overly simplistic," but I find Blanchot's response here to be spot on. If you are interested further in the conversation, Nancy wrote a further response to this book, published as "The Confronted Community" in _The Obsessions of Georges Bataille: Community and Communication_

I wouldn't recommend this as an introduction to Bataille's thought, but it certainly provides a solid introduction into Blanchot's own practice of writing and thinking.

If you're interested in Blanchot, Bataille, or the theme of "community/communication" in 20th century French philosophy more broadly, this book is essential reading (although one should be aware that "community/communication" have very unorthodox meanings in this particular strand of French philosophy).
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