AWAITING OBLIVION by Maurice Blanchot


Age Range: 0 - 8032
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 Awaiting Oblivion ($26.00; May 15, 1997; 88 pp.; 0-8032-1257-7): Another of Blanchot's almost-fictions (The One Who Was Standing Apart From Me, etc., not reviewed), this 1962 work mingles the briefest of narratives, cryptic dialogue, and even more cryptic aphoristic statements with the myth of Orpheus's descent into the underworld, throwing into deliciously baffling high relief the enigmatic condition of a man and woman alone in a sparsely furnished hotel room who try to remember what has happened to bring them there as they apprehensively await whatever will happen next. Their reserved confusion and quiet desperation eventually impress upon them (and us) the realization that imagination (or, if you will, writing) can create reality--and offer the paradoxical solace that seems to rest at the heart of Blanchot's writing: the sense that even language that expresses meaninglessness can't help but contain and, therefore, convey meaning.

Pub Date: May 15th, 1997
ISBN: 0-8032-1257-7
Page count: 88pp
Publisher: Univ. of Nebraska
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1997