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Political Writings, 1953-1993

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This review considers the collection Political Writings, 1953-1993 by Maurice Blanchot as a means to assess the relatively little-known political odyssey of this writer and theorist. Noting the absence of his earlier right-wing political texts from the 1930s in this collection, it attempts to probe Blanchot’s idiosyncratic ‘ultra-left’ turn represented in his texts of the 1950s and 1960s. In particular, I analyse how Blanchot develops a communism that focuses on the problem of abstraction: both the abstraction intrinsic to social reality, and the necessity to negate and contest that abstraction through a ‘communist writing’. The review reconstitutes this unusual form of Marxism, and analyses the possible resources it offers and its limits.

Affiliations: 1: University of Chichester, Email:


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