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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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He faces the madness of seeing his being divided against itself as particular bound to the paradox of the universal whole. He recoils in horror from the thought of seeing his body effaced by the sign pbscure defines his identity. Anne world dies and her beautiful face is still beautiful face. And so on, for all my organs.

And at the same time it was furiously destroying the face it kissed. If they look into mirrors unknowing the other is a reflection and can’t do anything without them. His desire to fill the lack in being derives from the thought of separation from mother- nature.

The Negative Eschatology of Maurice Blanchot by Kevin S. Fitzgerald

Where does it come from? Thomas perceives his thinking thoughts to be estranged from the ability to know the other; thus his being-for-the-self perceives the event as a non-event. In the conclusion, I will discuss the significance of my findings into the examination of Thomas the Obscure.

Just this, that neither night, nor loss of consciousness, nor indifference called me from life. Ich bin aber schon unendlich weit weg und kann nicht noch weiter weg gehen.

In part, Blanchot uses the impossibility of death to refer in a metaphorical manner to endless circularity, an endlessness that resembles the absurd fate of Kafka’s K in The Castle and Camus’s Sisyphus in the Myth of Sisyphus. The cat is unable to step beyond the circle that encloses his reflective thought no matter how far back it reaches. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Because it is a French avant-garde novel of the Forties, one should consider Thomas the Obscure akin to its rough contemporary, Beckett’s trilogy Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable.


You become a delicious passivity. In the night shall I become the universe? Remember me on this computer. The imagery depicting Thomas being turned inside out illustrates the thought of abjection as his presence is consumed by an other object.

His repetitious acts of flight show a refusal to accept responsibility for the other. He imagines a false union with the image of the other that is an inauthentic thing in itself. He imagines his effaced presence to be bound to a lack that is also bound to the symbolic.

Blanchot wrote more than thirty works of fiction, literary criticism, and philosophy. I experience it as not experiencing it and as experiencing nothing, being nothing, and this absurdity is its monstrous substance. Not that reductionists are scared off.

Death is transfigured as the limit. My being subsists only from a supreme point of view. Sep 14, Shasta McBride rated it liked tnomas.

Thomas the Obscure

His image is also comparable to the mimicry of Narcissus, as he compares his mimetic reflective gaze that is unable to step outside a circle. Here I am admitting to it thimas. The lovers mimic each others desire as they exchange words from the enclosed universal space that is language. He blurs the boundaries that defy identity as his thought faces presence as absence. Thomas shows that it is impossible to grasp the authenticity of pure presence as his being is infinitely alienated before the other.

He sees his cracked mirror image to be separate from a unified whole. He is not able to identify with the shifting mirror image reflected back in the absence. Nur ein einziges Tuomas von ihm ist bekannt geworden. His gaze is transferred back from the image of the exterior to the other beings he sees as part of a whole that is one— universal.


The text occupies the privileged position in the relationship, as it tugs at his oobscure principle.

Februar bei Paris gestorben. Relieved that I am finally done though the novel was a mere pages. Dec 05, Mariel rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: He faces the loss and recovery of being seen locked in a double bind.

He begs the question: His drive is sadomasochistic as his negative drive turns to a positive force encircling the positions of both master and slave. After the war, Blanchot began working only as a novelist and literary critic. External forces excessively penetrate as they repress his consciousness. He has difficulty grasping full possession of the object.


The sea imagery rips his thoughts apart as it metaphorically shreds his consciousness to pieces. This book gets good once we leave Thomas’s navel behind and spend some time with Anne, and then see how Thomas has changed or failed to change with Anne’s death.

He argues that it is through the nudity of the face, gaze or the look of the other that the subject faces intimacy. The Refusal of Philosophy London: He struggles obscre his inner self and also with external images as he tries to identify with the presence of the other.