[Communism without heirs]: Love and Community in the writing of Maurice Blanchot

Author: ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0002-8102-8202
Collins, Thomas Isaac, Religious Studies - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Hart, Kevin, Department of Religious Studies, University of Virginia

In 1983, Jean-Luc Nancy published an essay called, “La communauté désœuvrée,” in the journal Aléa. Only a few months later, Maurice Blanchot responded to Nancy with his book, La communauté inavouable. A conversation began that would reinvigorate philosophical reflection on the ideas of community, communism, and communication. At the core of their conversation are two vastly different readings of the philosophy of Georges Bataille. By examining the disagreements between Nancy and Blanchot, I argue that the idea of love can help the scholarly community better understand the role of speech, communication, and presence in Blanchot’s philosophy. Such an examination would shift the discussion of Blanchot’s work away from a singular focus on writing and the role of literature to a consideration of physical encounter with the impossible through the lens of the “community of lovers.” A new thinking of community as embodied might help to reinvigorate Blanchot’s philosophy of the “unavowable.”

MA (Master of Arts)
Maurice Blanchot, Jean-Luc Nancy, Communism , Community, Love
Issued Date: