By Lars Iyer
Of the various questions provoked via Blanchot's inspiration and writing, that of realizing its moral and political importance is of significant significance. Exploring his literary severe and philosophical writings, and addressing such significant thoughts because the photograph and the neuter, Blanchot's Vigilance provides a sustained research of Blanchot's reaction to the phenomenology of Husserl and Levinas, to Kierkegaard, Surrealism and to psychoanalysis.
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Additional info for Blanchot's Vigilance: Literature, Phenomenology and the Ethical
73 This theoreticism is what Heidegger would resist when he reconsiders the ‘sum’ of Dasein’s existence as part of his inquiry into the meaning of being, according to Levinas. Husserl, according to Heidegger, has failed to grasp the significance of the ego sum; it remains to plunge Dasein back into the world. The existential analytic would attempt to retrieve the being of the self, of Dasein, from its metaphysical appropriation. For 36 Blanchot’s Vigilance Levinas, there is still a question of how one attains that position from which it is possible to philosophise, thus breaking from the ‘natural attitude’ which has a similar structural role to the analyses of Das Man in Being and Time.
And break he does That Merciful Surplus of Strength 27 (or at least this is what we learn from his correspondent, Constantius, who later claims that the young man was a fiction, his own creation. Do not believe him. For they are both diners and discussants, as real as one another, at the symposium in the first part of Stages on Life’s Way). Kierkegaard will go on to claim the original state precedes the original sin. The relationship to God is received anew through the incarnation and atonement of Jesus Christ.
He is, too, the aesthete of Either/Or who foregoes the chance to choose himself and the atheist lost in despair described in The Sickness Unto Death: Kafka has faith only in a writing he cannot achieve; he writes, but the ‘merciful surplus of strength’ can never carry him to the hither side of writing. ‘What would the testing of Abraham be, if having no son, he were nevertheless required to sacrifice his son? ’60 But this is his That Merciful Surplus of Strength 29 vigilance: Kafka’s text watches over his pain; Blanchot, vigilant in turn, repeats the vigilance of Kafka’s writings in his own commentaries.