Unreal Nature

November 21, 2012

The Silence

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 7:38 am

… whether the silence found there — but is it silence? — was from the outset given to him in this suspended and heightened moment of life, or, on the contrary, whether he writes only in order that this silence might occur, a silence without which the encounter — did it take place, will it take place? — would be deprived of all communicable reality.

This is from The Infinite Conversation by Maurice Blanchot (1993; originally published in 1969):

… What does all this signify? The misunderstanding — let us immediately set aside all that might be offered to account for it in the way of differences of character or even, due to their personalities, the protagonists’ incapacity to be up to the event — is not the accidental or regrettable effect of an encounter in every other respect marvelous; misunderstanding is its essence and, as it were, its principle. Where no understanding is possible, where all that happens happens outside understanding and is therefore fascinating — terrible or marvelous — and with no relation other than the intimacy of the absence of relation, it is here that the experience of encounter deploys its dangerous space: a field that is non-unified, non-legalized, and without set paths, where life is no more given at the level of the real than writing, accomplice of life, is present in the language where the real is articulated. The experience — danger itself: a gap through which life, far from interrupting itself in the living being so that the latter, as a good writer, can do his work, rather doubles itself in a sense in order to expose itself to this interruption; …

… an interruption that the one who writes receives and retains without knowing, for his part, whether the silence found there — but is it silence? — was from the outset given to him in this suspended and heightened moment of life, or, on the contrary, whether he writes only in order that this silence might occur, a silence without which the encounter — did it take place, will it take place? — would be deprived of all communicable reality.

My most recent previous post from Blanchot’s book is here.

-Julie

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