Maurice Blanchot was a French writer, philosopher, and literary theorist. His work had a strong . Thomas l’Obscur, (Thomas the Obscure); Aminadab, ; L’Arrêt de mort, (Death Sentence); Le Très-Haut, (The Most High). Nevertheless, how can one in good conscious reduce a text by Blanchot to a How can one put forth an interpretation of Thomas the Obscure that avoids. Thomas the Obscure. Maurice Blanchot and Robert Lamberton (Translator). Before Sartre, before Beckett, before Robbe-Grillet, Maurice Blanchot created the .

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Stanford University Press,p. However, Thomas does reconcile himself with the fact that language is an open-ended chain that fuses the hidden being in the world with an absent presence. Sentiments of anguish and fear emerge as Thomas refuses to see his identity as a split object other.

I felt like I was only learning how to read it toward the end, though this may have been an illusion. Thomas shows signs of paranoia, as he becomes aware of the other subjects observing his gestures. When he is reading he disappears into the eye I, he, it. Unlike Heidegger, Blanchot rejects the possibility of an authentic relation to death, because he rejects the possibility of death, that is to say of the individual’s experience of death.

Because the gaze of Thomas seeks to grasp Anne as both an ideal and a human, she perishes. He reduces presence to absence as he faces totality in the face of absolute absence lack.


The University of Chicago Press, A Taste for the Secret.

Where does it come from? Mar 25, Sam Moss rated it really liked it Shelves: A repetitive pattern occurs as Thomas faces absence as presence and presence as absence.

In the night, we are inseparable.

Thomas the Obscure by Maurice Blanchot

View all 3 comments. Visual interference leads to frustration as his thought is unable to distinguish between dreaming and awakening consciousness. Blanchot was not merely incidentally interested in Kafka.

This independence, which is passed over in the everyday use of language, is the negativity at the heart of language. Without the use of character or plot development Blanchot covers immense ground in pursuit of life and the living, the living of a death.

Thomas the Obscure

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Jan 16, Connor rated it tje liked it. His Literature and the Right to Death shows the influence that Heidegger had on a whole generation of French intellectuals. Yet for fifty years he remained a consistent champion of modern literature and its tradition in French letters.

He saw beyond the plastic forms that repetitiously masked his being as he faced the symbol. There, everything is distinct, everything is melted together. An exchange takes place through communication as events are neutralized in the medium of language.

A Glossary obscuure Literary Terms. Nonetheless, I have attempted to remain throughout this work as faithful as possible to what I believe to be the essence of Blanchot’s thought.

The braid that binds his being to language shows that he is not Grey, The Freud Reader, p. When someone calls from outside the name ‘Anne’ and he notices the woman turn to leave, Thomas, in hopes of prolonging his fascination, cannot restrain himself from attempting to distract her with a sudden, almost violent movement.


He is repetitiously forced to take action against the image and usurp the role of the master. During the later years of his life, he repeatedly wrote against the intellectual attraction to fascism, and notably against Heidegger ‘s post-war silence over the Thokas. As alluded to above, the limit-experience plays an important role in the novel. This idea of death giving significance to life, although having Greek philosophical precedents, is most fully expressed in Christian theology.

Thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Master of Arts, Critical Theory at Monash University. This image is posited in language. The thought of self-alienation is described as Thomas states: Thomas is sadistically reduced to an empty object after he strips away all particularity from self-identity.

Thomas the obscure – Maurice Blanchot – Google Books

Maurice Blanchot and the literature of transgression. He then embarked on a career as a political journalist in Paris. I can’t call it enlightenment almosts but the lessening of a burden, this close to the far away figure.