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(1976) The crisis of culture, Dordrecht, Reidel.

The world-remoteness of the text

Claude Lévesque

pp. 53-70

The text from the letters of Kafka will have a bearing on what I am going to say this afternoon. At any rate the title of my brief presentation of ten minutes is the following: “Man: Is he capable of literature?” It is a quotation, one of Maurice Blanchot, and as a Leitmotif of my presentation I will use Kafka’s celebrated words: “to write is to suffer immeasurably,” with Kafka nevertheless adding: “Night is not enough night” (La nuit n’est pas assez la nuit), and I would perhaps add this other quotation from Nietzsche taken from Zarathustra: “Now let us go, let us advance, my friends, in the night, let us advance.” Except that, without wanting it, I am at least underlining the title of the book by M. de Boisdeffre Les Ecrivains de la nuit. The subtitle of this presentation would perhaps be ‘The Remoteness of the Text’, and I thus offer you these few reflections. Perhaps we have not sufficiently considered the reductive violence which thought spontaneously exercises on theother, whose appearance on the reassuring horizon of the familiar is always perceived as a dangerously threatening infraction. To deny the difference, to appease the contradiction, to interrogate the unknown and the unexpected, to tame the dimension of the uncanny and the elsewhere-whether it be in the form of the unusual, the bizarre, the monstruous, the double, the repetitive or simply of boredom — this is what thought has always done, as if its most essential desire was occupied in maintaining intact the primacy of identity and proximity, finding a strange satisfaction in further spreading the empire of tautology or sameness: that the other always returns to the same.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-010-1446-5_3

Full citation:

Lévesque, C. (1976)., The world-remoteness of the text, in A. Tymieniecka (ed.), The crisis of culture, Dordrecht, Reidel, pp. 53-70.

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