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Lecture and Workshop | Blanchot and the Literary Experience of Exile

Dec 13, 2022 - Dec 14, 2022

Organised by Djordje Kandic, Jürgen Brokoff, Matthias Warstat, research project "Transnational Representations of War and Migration in Theatre and Literature“ in Research Area 2: "Travelling Matters".


December 13, 2022 18:00

What changed Maurice Blanchot in the 1930s? What led him to abandon his political journalism on the far-right to become a writer of fiction, philosophy, and literary criticism that would relentlessly call into question all forms of nationalist spirit and identity? And that would turn him, arguably, into an internally displaced exile both in France and within the French cultural and literary tradition? At scattered junctures late in his life, Blanchot remarks that it was literature which elicited him to undergo an experience of self-transformation or even “conversion” before and during the Second World War. He felt urged, while writing his first novels, to respond to an exigency that cast him outside and brought him into contact with a neutral region of existence characterized by the fundamental error and errancy of désœuvrement, that is, inoperativity. This exigency, furthermore, would compel him to affirm a sense of ethical responsibility for the other informed, via Emmanuel Levinas, by a theoretical approach to Judaism and Jewish Diaspora. In tracing this itinerary, Dr. Michael Krimper will discern the role Blanchot’s literary experience of exile plays in his elucidation of prospective communal formations unbound from national belonging and adherence, drawing on his multilinguistic literary criticism, anticolonial political engagements, and so-called communism of writing, with an eye to the proliferation of diasporas today.


December 14, 2022 16:00-20:00

In the workshop on the 14.12.2022 we will turn to some of Blanchot's texts in which he discusses the role of exile for literature and writing.  We will address the question of what a poetics of exile looks like in Blanchot. In addition, a notion of political literature emerges in Blanchot's writings, whose transitivity is closely related to the experience of exile. Given the project's theme of war and literature, Blanchot's texts on neutrality, a special relation without relation, also appear to be of some interest.

Both events will be held in English.

Time & Location

Dec 13, 2022 - Dec 14, 2022

Habelschwerdter Allee 35
JK 31/124
14195 Berlin

EXC 2020 Temporal Communities
Room 00.07
Otto-von-Simson-Straße 15
14195 Berlin

Further Information

The lecture is open for public.

Registration by e-mail to (djordje.kandic@fu-berlin.de) for the workshop
is requested. Texts for the workshop will be provided in advance. Online
participation is possible as well.