Browsing by Author "Alanko-Kahiluoto, Outi"

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  • Alanko-Kahiluoto, Outi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2007)
    Maurice Blanchot (1907-2003), the French writer and novelist, is one of the most important figures in post-war French literature and philosophy. The main intention of this study is to figure out his position and originality in the field of phenomenology. Since this thesis concentrates on the notion of vision in Blanchot s work, its primary context is the post-war discussion of the relation between seeing and thinking in France, and particularly the discussion of the conditions of non-violent vision and language. The focus will be on the philosophical conversation between Blanchot and his contemporary philosophers. The central premise is the following: Blanchot relates the criticism of vision to the criticism of the representative model of language. In this thesis, Blanchot s definition of literary language as the refusal to reveal anything is read as a reference pointing in two directions. First, to Hegel s idea of naming as negativity which reveals Being incrementally to man, and second, to Heidegger s idea of poetry as the simultaneity of revealing and withdrawal; the aim is to prove that eventually Blanchot opposes both Hegel s idea of naming as a gradual revelation of the totality of being and Heidegger s conception of poetry as a way of revealing the truth of Being. My other central hypothesis is that for Blanchot, the criticism of the privilege of vision is always related to the problematic of the exteriority. The principal intention is to trace how Blanchot s idea of language as infinity and exteriority challenges both the Hegelian idea of naming as conceptualizing things and Heidegger s concept of language as a way to truth (as aletheia). The intention is to show how Blanchot, with his concepts of fascination, resemblance and image, both affirms and challenges the central points of Heidegger s thinking on language. Blanchot s originality in, and contribution to, the discussion about the violence of vision and language is found in his answer to the question of how to approach the other by avoiding the worst violence . I claim that by criticizing the idea of language as naming both in Hegel and Heidegger, Blanchot generates an account of language which, since it neither negates nor creates Being, is beyond the metaphysical opposition between Being and non-Being.