The Step Not Beyond
Alternative formats available from:
This book is a translation of Maurice Blanchot's work that is of major importance to late 20th-century literature and philosophy studies. Using the fragmentary form, Blanchot challenges the boundaries between the literary and the philosophical. With the obsessive rigor that has always marked his writing, Blanchot returns to the themes that have haunted his work since the beginning: writing, death, transgression, the neuter, but here the figures around whom his discussion turns are Hegel and Nietzsche rather than Mallarme and Kafka.
The metaphor Blanchot uses for writing in The Step Not Beyond is the game of chance. Fragmentary writing is a play of limits, a play of ever-multiplied terms in which no one term ever takes precedence. Through the randomness of the fragmentary, Blanchot explores ideas as varied as the relation of writing to luck and to the law, the displacement of the self in writing, the temporality of the Eternal Return, the responsibility of the self towards the others.
Lycette Nelson is a doctoral student in Comparative Literature at the State University of New York at Buffalo.