Skip to content

Maurice Blanchot: A Critical Biography (NYRB Review)

21st February 2020

The Nothing Beyond Nothing  | Robert Pogue Harrison | March 12, 2020

Maurice Blanchot: A Critical Biography

By Christophe Bident, translated from the French by John McKeane

Blanchot Cover

Either in spite or because of its disasters, the twentieth century produced an abundance of great writers and intellectuals. Maurice Blanchot was among the major ones. Born into a well-off French Catholic family in 1907, he suffered serious health problems for most of his life—as early as the 1940s he would alert friends that he was writing his final book or letter—yet he died in 2003 at the age of ninety-five. His mauvaise santé de fer (a French expression meaning “poor health of iron”) was only one of the many paradoxes that dominated his life and thought.… Read more

Fordham University Press, 614 pp., $140.00; $40.00, paperback