The Dark Gaze: Maurice Blanchot And The Sacred

Paperback | November 30, 2004

byKevin Hart

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Maurice Blanchot is among the most important twentieth-century French thinkers. Figures such as Bataille, Deleuze, Derrida, and Levinas all draw deeply on his novels and writings on literature and philosophy. In The Dark Gaze, Kevin Hart argues that Blanchot has given us the most persuasive account of what we must give up—whether it be continuity, selfhood, absolute truth, totality, or unity—if God is, indeed, dead. Looking at Blanchot’s oeuvre as a whole, Hart shows that this erstwhile atheist paradoxically had an abiding fascination with mystical experiences and the notion of the sacred.

The result is not a mere introduction to Blanchot but rather a profound reconsideration of how his work figures theologically in some of the major currents of twentieth-century thought. Hart reveals Blanchot to be a thinker devoted to the possibilities of a spiritual life; an atheist who knew both the Old and New Testaments, especially the Hebrew Bible; and a philosopher keenly interested in the relation between art and religion, the nature of mystical experience, the link between writing and the sacred, and the possibilities of leading an ethical life in the absence of God.

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Maurice Blanchot is among the most important twentieth-century French thinkers. Figures such as Bataille, Deleuze, Derrida, and Levinas all draw deeply on his novels and writings on literature and philosophy. In The Dark Gaze, Kevin Hart argues that Blanchot has given us the most persuasive account of what we must give up—whether it be...

Kevin Hart is professor of English at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of numerous works, including The Trespass of the Sign: Deconstruction, Theology, and Philosophy and Economic Acts: Samuel Johnson and the Culture of Property. He is also the author of several volumes of poetry, including Flame Tree: Selected Poems.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.7 inPublished:November 30, 2004Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226318117

ISBN - 13:9780226318110

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Introduction: The Dark Gaze
1. Art or the Mystical?
2. Blanchot's Primal Scene
3. The Impossible
4. Losing the Power to Say "I"
5. Blanchot's "Trial of Experience"
6. "The Nearness of the Eternal"
7. The Human Relation
Conclusion: The Counterspiritual Life
Notes
Index