A Collection of Essays
HANNES OPELZ and JOHN McKEANE
Introduction: The Absolute, the Fragmentary Pas au-delà – de la religion: de la Littérature et de la politique, et même de ce qu’on nomme si emphatiquement l’éthique. — Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, ‘L’Agonie de la religion’1 Opening … an Epoch Blanchot romantique? Our title could perhaps be greeted with surprise, and certainly with a question. On one level, its provocation must remain sterile, unless one abolishes all literary-historical perspective. On another level, Romanticism does seem to singularly resist such a perspective. Whilst it refers of course to a circumscribed period or atmosphere, Romanticism also stands for the demand – whether naïve, necessary, or both – that such circumscriptions be abandoned, in favour of an all-consuming, unreason- able, infinite or absolute mode of literary experience, whereby the poetic, the philosophical, and the political (if such substantives can register some of the broader stakes raised by our title) enter into an entirely new kind of relation. It is, in brief, the presence of this demand that this volume aims to measure: in Blanchot’s work, in contemporary work on Blanchot, and as such, in what we know today as criticism, literary theory, the roman, the fragmentary, the neutre, the subject, community, affect, and revolu- 1 In Revue des sciences humaines, 253 ( January–March 1999), 227–29 (p. 229). 2 Hannes Opelz and John McKeane tion – to mention only some of the major topics explored in the essays collected here. If there is a sense in which Romanticism may still be ‘notre naïveté’ (AL, 27;...
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