Faux Pas

Published in France in 1943, Faux Pas is the first collection of Maurice Blanchot's essays on literature and language, consisting of fifty-four short pieces that were originally issued as reviews in literary journals, and one long introductory meditation that defines the trajectory of the whole volume. These essays?like those collected in the other five books of criticism published over several decades?have established Blanchot as the most lucid and powerful French critic of the second half of the twentieth century. Sober reconstructions of the main tenets of both classical and modern, both literary and theoretical texts, they have attained the status of model readings for authors as diverse as da Vinci and Kierkegaard, Melville and Proust, Molière, Goethe, and Mallarmé. However, the book is not a miscellaneous collection of exquisite essays. The first section of the volume, "From...

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