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A Critical Encounter: Bataille and Blanchot

Exploring the Literary Real

This volume addresses recent contemporary French thought on literary realism.
Few terms have been more prone and resistant to definition than the “literary” and the “real.” Bringing them together under the contrivance of the “literary real” sheds new light on the understanding of the terms real, being, existence, the literary, literature, and writing.
A Critical Encounter addresses two questions that are constantly entwined: first, what kind of real is involved and disclosed in writing—and how does this differ from conventional definitions and representations of reality? Second, what is writing’s own mode of being, in what way is it particular, and what are the implications of this particularity? Consulting the writings of French theorists Georges Bataille and Maurice Blanchot, this volume investigates the real effect that the existence of literature has on our lives: how it challenges and reconfigures the way we perceive ourselves, our place in the world, and our relations with others.

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