Unreal Nature

January 3, 2016

Someone Is Talking

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:42 am

This is from the essay ‘The Narrative Voice’ in The Gaze of Orpheus and other essays by Maurice Blanchot, translated by Lydia Davis (1981):

… Often, in a bad tale — assuming that there are bad tales, which is not altogether certain — we have the impression that someone is speaking in the background and prompting the characters or even the events with what they have to say: an indiscreet and clumsy intrusion; it is said to be the author talking, an authoritarian and complacent “I” still anchored in life and barging in without any restraint. It is true, this is indiscreet — and this is how the circle is wiped out.

[line break added] But it is also true that the impression that someone is talking “in the background” is really part of the singularity of narrative and the truth of the circle: as though the center of the circle lay outside the circle, in back and infinitely far back, as though the outside were precisely this center, which could only be the absence of all center.

(A previous post from this same essay is found here.)

-Julie

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