What happens when philosophy and literature meet? What is at stake when the text of a so-called single author begins to speak in two languages, now the language of theoretical reflection, now the language of narrative fiction And what relation does writing have to the limit that defines it but, by exposing it to the limitlessness that lies beyond it, also threatens its very possibility? These are some of the questions raised by three of the most provocative and influential French writers of the twentieth century: Georges Bataille, Pierre Klossowski, and Maurice Blanchot. Examining all three together for the first time, this pioneering study explores their response to a double challenge: that of assuming the burden of philosophy while at the same time affirming the shadows, spirits, an spectres that go under the name of literature.
an important book ... it should be required reading for all those with a serious interest in twentieth-century literature. Journal of European Studies Hill's eagle eye ... allows him to detail with rare precision the way in which in these three authors the thinking process continues in a questioning, and self-questioning, way that allows them to avoid becoming overwhelmed by nullity. Journal of European Studies ... a remarkably single-minded, though multi-dimensional, investigation into the way both literature and philosophy are redefined in a parallel, yet intersecting, set of practices by the three writers concerned. Journal of European Studies This authoritative and powerful study is in a class of its own. Journal of European Studies Admirably lucid readings. Modern Language Review Hill's latest book is a characteristic tour de force of close reading and intricate speculation. Modern & Contemporary France Hill's presentation of Klossowski does much to introduce his work to those as yet unaware of its interest, not least by weaving details of his career through detailed discussion of his translations, novels, essays and other writings, as well as his work in visual media. Martin Crowley, Times Literary Supplement Extraordinary ability to combine bibliographical accuracy, historical perspective and philosophical understanding with patient close reading. Martin Crowley, Times Literary Supplement
1: Unavowable Community
2: Sacrificing Sacrifice
3: The Inconsistency of Thought
4: Death, Writing, Neutrality