Maurice Blanchot is arguably the key figure after Sartre in exploring the relation between literature and philosophy. Blanchot developed a distinctive, limpid form of essay writing; these essays, in form and substance, left their imprint on the work of the most influential French theorists. The writings of Barthes, Foucault, and Derrida are unimaginable without Blanchot. Published in French in 1949, The Work of Fire is a collection of twenty-two essays originally published in literary journals. Certain themes recur repeatedly: the relation of literature and language to death; the significance of repetition; the historical, personal, and social function of literature; and simply the question what is at stake in the fact that something such as art or literature exists? Among the authors discussed are Kafka, Mallarme;, Holderlin, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Sartre, Gide, Pascal, Vale;ry, Hemingway, and Henry Miller.
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Number of pages: 360
Weight: 408 g
Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 20 mm
"A signal event for literary and cultural studies in the English-speaking world. As crucial essays on individual authors, as a major work of literary theory, as an important means of access to the 1940s in French culture, as an exemplary work combining reading and theory-it is of great importance to us today." -- J. Hillis Miller, University of California * Irvine *
"This collection of essays and reviews from the 1940s is about the 'fiery part' of literary language that burns through the aesthetic illusions and the easy referentiality of everyday language. . . . This collection is indepensable to any attempt to understand the years between Heidegger/Benjamin and Derrida/Man." -- Choice