By Anne McConnell

ISBN-10: 1564788415

ISBN-13: 9781564788412

Maurice Blanchot (1907–2003), some of the most influential figures of twentieth-century French literature, produced a wide selection of essays and fictions that give some thought to the complexities of literary paintings. His description of writing consistently returns to a few topics, reminiscent of solitude, passivity, indifference, anonymity, and absence—forces confronting the author, but additionally the reader, the textual content itself, and the family members among the 3. For Blanchot, literature contains a stream towards disappearance, the place one hazards the lack of self; yet the sort of sacrifice, says Blanchot, is inherent within the act of writing. drawing close Disappearance explores the query of disappearance in Blanchot's severe paintings after which turns to 5 narratives that provide a different mirrored image at the chance of disappearance and the calls for of literature—work through Franz Kafka, Jorge Luis Borges, Louis-René Des Forêts, and Nathalie Sarraute.

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Extra resources for Approaching Disappearance (Scholarly Series)

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In the second chapter the failure to recognise kinship is projected onto the vast space of the metropolis where humans appear disfigured. The city as an icon of modernity thus mirrors Karl’s sense of displacement. At the end of chapter 2 Pollunder’s car takes a complicated route through the packed streets of New York to the suburbs, where it is further diverted into side streets because the main arteries are blocked by a workers’ mass demonstration. As in the scene on board ship, the chaotic quality of the traffic is a symbol of Karl’s status as a maze-walker who never quite realises that he makes no progress within the labyrinth.

Parables, supposedly helpful or exemplary stories Notably ‘Before the Law’, but Amalia’s story in The Castle works similarly. Kafka was a collector of such emblematic or exemplary stories. ’ (April/May, 1920; BM: 12). Traditionally, in the New Testament, for example, parables are used to make concretely clear a new or abstract or for some other reason difficult concept. ’ with the parable of the Good Samaritan. But in Kafka’s fictions the stories and parables told are never unambiguous and the difficulty the listener is in may only be compounded by hearing them.

When Kafka went to Germany he followed a route through Dresden to Berlin, stopping at Leipzig or Weimar. Vienna, where he attended a Zionist congress in 1913, and Berlin, home of Felice Bauer, are the two other points of his Central European cultural triangle after Prague. His Europe is demarcated too by the locations of the sanatoria and health resorts he visited from his early twenties and where he spent increasing lengths of time in his last five years: Jungborn in the German Harz, where he enjoyed gymnastic exercises au naturel; Zuckmantel in Silesia (then Germany, now Poland); Meran, which became Italian Merano in 1918; and Matliary just over the Hungarian border in Slovakia.

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Approaching Disappearance (Scholarly Series) by Anne McConnell


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