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viernes, 6 de noviembre de 2015

Maurice Blanchot Fragment from Literature and Death


I was thinking that since the "written thing" is such a big part of an author, and one always tries to protect it from the outside, what justifies its publication, the showing off of what we write in social media, blogs, magazines, why is it so important for some to show what they write, why don't we just write a journal and keep it as a personal file, instead we make it public, why? Especially when most of us know that whatever we write, whether good or bad, is in a big sense 'ourselves', what we write is what we created, not whatever is being sold, marketed, praised or demolished... So I reread Blanchot and as always, he gave me some answers: 

Blanchot on Literature and Death...


But then where does the work begin, where does it end? At what moment does it come into existence? Why make it public if the splendor of the pure self must be preserved in the work, why take it outside, why realize it in words which belong to everyone? Why not withdraw into an enclosed and secret intimacy without producing anything but an empty object and a dying echo? Another solution –the writer himself agrees to do away with himself: the only one who matters in the work is the person who reads it. The reader makes the work; as he reads it, he creates it; he is its real author, he is the consciousness and the living substance of the written thing; and so the author now has only one goal, to write for that reader and to merge with him. A hopeless endeavor. Because the reader has no use for a work written for him, what he wants is precisely an alien work in which he can discover something unknown, a different reality, a separate mind capable of transforming him and which he can transform into himself. An author who is writing specifically for a public is not really writing; it is the public that is writing, and for this reason the public can no longer be a reader; reading only appears to exist, actually it is nothing. This is why works created to be read are meaningless: no one reads them. This is why it is dangerous to write for other people in order to evoke the speech of others and reveal them to themselves: the fact is that other people do not want to hear their own voices; they want to hear someone else’s voice, a voice that is real, profound, troubling like the truth.


A writer cannot withdraw into himself, for he would then have to give up writing. As he writes, he cannot sacrifice the pure night of his own possibilities, because his work is alive only if that night –and no other – becomes day, if what is most singular about him and farthest removed from existence as already revealed now reveals itself within shared experience. 


- Maurice Blanchot (France, 1907- 2003) 


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