Political Writings, 1953-1993

Political Writings, 1953-1993 196 Review Articles / Historical Materialism 19.3 (2011) 196–204 Political Writings, 1953–1993 , Maurice Blanchot, translated and with an Introduction by Zakir Paul, New York: Fordham University Press, 2010 Abstract This review considers the collection Political Writings, 1953–1993 by Maurice Blanchot as a means to assess the relatively little-known political odyssey of this writer and theorist. Noting the absence of his earlier right-wing political texts from the 1930s in this collection, it attempts to probe Blanchot’s idiosyncratic ‘ultra-left’ turn represented in his texts of the 1950s and 1960s. In particular, I analyse how Blanchot develops a communism that focuses on the problem of abstraction: both the abstraction intrinsic to social reality, and the necessity to negate and contest that abstraction through a ‘communist writing’. The review reconstitutes this unusual form of Marxism, and analyses the possible resources it offers and its limits. Keywords Maurice Blanchot, Marxism, abstraction, ultra-left, politics The publication of this book should offer the opportunity to assess the singular, and relatively little-known, political odyssey of Maurice Blanchot (1907–2003). Cultivating a deliberate discretion, remarking ‘I have always tried . . . to appear as little as possible’ (p. 167), Blanchot was the éminence grise of that http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Historical Materialism Brill

Political Writings, 1953-1993

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2011 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1465-4466
eISSN
1569-206X
D.O.I.
10.1163/156920611X592436
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

196 Review Articles / Historical Materialism 19.3 (2011) 196–204 Political Writings, 1953–1993 , Maurice Blanchot, translated and with an Introduction by Zakir Paul, New York: Fordham University Press, 2010 Abstract This review considers the collection Political Writings, 1953–1993 by Maurice Blanchot as a means to assess the relatively little-known political odyssey of this writer and theorist. Noting the absence of his earlier right-wing political texts from the 1930s in this collection, it attempts to probe Blanchot’s idiosyncratic ‘ultra-left’ turn represented in his texts of the 1950s and 1960s. In particular, I analyse how Blanchot develops a communism that focuses on the problem of abstraction: both the abstraction intrinsic to social reality, and the necessity to negate and contest that abstraction through a ‘communist writing’. The review reconstitutes this unusual form of Marxism, and analyses the possible resources it offers and its limits. Keywords Maurice Blanchot, Marxism, abstraction, ultra-left, politics The publication of this book should offer the opportunity to assess the singular, and relatively little-known, political odyssey of Maurice Blanchot (1907–2003). Cultivating a deliberate discretion, remarking ‘I have always tried . . . to appear as little as possible’ (p. 167), Blanchot was the éminence grise of that

Journal

Historical MaterialismBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2011

Keywords: abstraction; Marxism; politics; ultra-left; Maurice Blanchot

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