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Woman as the Face of God: Blanchot, Lacan and the Feminine Impossible

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-05-21, 03:54 authored by Peter Gunn
In his work Blanchot makes reference to several stories or récits by two of his contemporaries, Marguerite Duras and Georges Bataille. I am thinking here particularly of Duras’ The Malady of Death, and Bataille’s Madame Edwarda. In the phantasmagoric worlds of these stories strange en-counters occur between a man and a woman. We are told little about these people by way of personal attributes, but we do know that each of the women is beautiful. It is this feminine beauty which seems to give the women a status of being in some way separate or outside.
Blanchot subjects these stories to a reading which is informed by Bataille’s own theoretical work. He sees this feminine separateness functioning for the man as the absolute Other, God. As such the Other has a double aspect, one which may mark a crossroad, a moment of truth. This is what Bataille calls the “interior experience,” and which Blanchot renames in The Infinite Conversation as a “limit-experience.”


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