Literature and refusal: Maurice Blanchot's impossible political ontology

Liepins, Alexander S. (2011) Literature and refusal: Maurice Blanchot's impossible political ontology. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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It is my contention that Maurice Blanchot’s political ontology of the artwork (l’oeuvre) calls for a new politics, but not a politics founded on work, power, or any previously conceived partisan agenda. I begin with Blanchot’s starting point of the question of how literature is possible because he holds this to be a question that cannot be answered. I then establish Blanchot’s unique ontological depiction of the artwork as useless and impossible through the philosophical foundations of Aristotle, Hegel, and Heidegger on potentiality (dunamis), work (Arbeit), and technology (Technik) respectively. Since Blanchot considers his artwork to be evidence of an essentially political refusal, I consider Blanchot under the guise of political ontology. By narrating the roles of impossibility, refusal, the absence of work (désoeuvrement), and death in Blanchot’s theory of art as literature, I show how we can derive a new politics from the artwork.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 10898
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 102-105).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Philosophy
Date: 2011
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Art--History--Philosophy; Literature--Philosophy; Literature--History--Philosophy; Art--Political aspects; Politics and literature.

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