n Journal of Literary Studies - "The Rest Should Be Silence" : Blanchot, the impossibility of silence, and prosopopeial form

Volume 17, Issue 3_4
  • ISSN : 0256-4718



In this paper, I explore the idea of prosopopeial form in fiction writing by drawing on Maurice Blanchot's thought on the literary text's relation to the absolute otherness of the <I>il y a</I>, a relation which means that while the text is &lt;I&gt;in&lt;/I&gt; the world, it is not of the world. I argue that some fictional texts evince a strong awareness of their foundation in the <I>il y a&lt;/I&gt; and that this awareness invests them with prosopopeial form, that is, a form which foregrounds the failure of presence and thereby enables the literary text to respond to that which is other than literary form. I examine Joseph Conrad's <I>Heart of Darkness&lt;/I&gt; ([1902]1974) as a novel which is prosopopeial in its performance of its coming into being.

In hierdie artikel ondersoek ek die idee van prosopopiële vorm in fiksionele tekste deur gebruik te maak van Maurice Blanchot se idee oor die literêre teks se verband met die absolute andersheid van die <I>il y a</I>, 'n verband wat beteken dat terwyl die teks &lt;I&gt;in&lt;/I&gt; die wêreld is, is dit nie van die wêreld nie. Ek voer aan dat sommige fiksionele tekste 'n sterk bewustheid van hulle grondslag in die <I>il y a&lt;/I&gt; openbaar en dat hierdie bewustheid hulle met prosopopiële vorm investeer, dit is, 'n vorm wat die mislukking van teenwoordigheid op die voorgrond plaas en daardeur die literêre teks in staat stel om te reageer op dit wat anders is as literêre vorm. Ek ondersoek Joseph Conrad se <I>Heart of Darkness&lt;/I&gt; ([1902]1974) as 'n roman wat prosopopieel is in sy uitvoering van tot bestaan kom.

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