"Blanchot and the Literary Experience of Exile" by Michael Krimper (NYU)

Marcel Fabisch's picture
December 13, 2022 to December 14, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, French History / Studies, Literature, Philosophy, Political Science

Time: 13.12.2022 18:00 c.t. (lecture), 14.12.2022 16:00 c.t. (workshop)

Place: Freie Universität Berlin at Habelschwerdter Allee 35 (14195 Berlin), room JK 31/124

Format: On 13.12.2022 Michael Krimper (NYU) will give a lecture on "Blanchot and the Literary Experience of Exile" and participate in a workshop on the same topic the following day (14.12.2022).

Topic: What changed Maurice Blanchot in the 1930s? What led him to abandon his political journalism on the far-right to become a writer of fiction, philosophy, and literary criticism that would relentlessly call into question all forms of nationalist spirit and identity? And that would turn him, arguably, into an internally displaced exile both in France and within the French cultural and literary tradition? At scattered junctures late in his life, Blanchot remarks that it was literature which elicited him to undergo an experience of self-transformation or even “conversion” before and during the Second World War. He felt urged, while writing his first novels, to respond to an exigency that cast him outside and brought him into contact with a neutral region of existence characterized by the fundamental error and errancy of désœuvrement, that is, inoperativity. This exigency, furthermore, would compel him to affirm a sense of ethical responsibility for the other informed, via Emmanuel Levinas, by a theoretical approach to Judaism and Jewish Diaspora. In tracing this itinerary, I will discern the role Blanchot’s literary experience of exile plays in his elucidation of prospective communal formations unbound from national belonging and adherence, drawing on his multilinguistic literary criticism, anticolonial political engagements, and so-called communism of writing, with an eye to the proliferation of diasporas today.

Contact Info: 

For any question in general as well as registration for the workshop (14.12.2022) please contact djordje.kandic@fu-berlin.de

The texts discussed at the workshop will be provided therafter. Please register until 07.12.2022, if you want to attend the workshop. For attending the lecture (13.12.2022) no registration is required.