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Aesthetics of Negativity$
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William S. Allen

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823269280

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823269280.001.0001

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Indifferent Reading in Aminadab

Indifferent Reading in Aminadab

(p.135) 5 Indifferent Reading in Aminadab
Aesthetics of Negativity

William S. Allen

Fordham University Press

Blanchot’s second novel, Aminadab, is a crucially important work because it is his first fully-formed prose narrative, which brings the notions he has developed in his critical writings into an integrated fictional exploration. The manner in which it develops is highly ambiguous, but this ambiguity comes from a rigorous exploration of the relation between the form and the material of the narrative, and in doing so, a mode of reading is developed in the work that guides us to a way of responding to it. This mode of reading can be understood as a form of material vision, similar to de Man’s notion, in that it enables an experience of the materiality of the narrative as a space of images that is autonomous or indifferent. Such an experience is comparable to that found in the work of Mallarmé, in his desires for an absolute work, but also reveals that it is a form of non-conceptual knowledge.

Keywords:   images, indifference, materiality, reading, spatiality

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