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12.9.12

Maurice Blanchot: Corrected Proofs

A page from Blanchot's corrected proof of L'Entretien Infini (The Infinite Conversation)
A page from Maurice Blanchot's corrected proofs of L'Entretien Infini, showing changes made by Blanchot. MS Fr 497. Purchased with the Class of 1952 Manuscript Fund, the Amy Lowell Trust, and the Patrick Grant Second Memorial Fund, 2009.
A 2010 news story from the Harvard Gazette:
As a novelist, literary theorist, journalist and philosopher, Maurice Blanchot (1907–2003) had a profound impact on the thinking of dozens of philosophers, novelists, and writers. Until recently, however, it remained unclear how Blanchot’s thinking had evolved over his lifetime. A famously reclusive figure in the literary world, it was believed Blanchot had destroyed most of his personal papers before his death.

With the Houghton Library’s recent acquisition of corrected page proofs of Blanchot’s major 1969 work L’Entretien Infini (“The Infinite Conversation”), however, scholars should soon be able to shed new light on Blanchot’s changing political and literary attitudes.

The pages were salvaged from a rubbish bin by the husband of Blanchot’s long-time housekeeper, and contain numerous handwritten annotations by Blanchot, along with typewritten sheets inserted into the proofs – some of which consist of small slips taped over pages, while others are multiple pages in length.

The proofs, along with several other Blanchot manuscripts, came up for sale in March 2009. Hoping the material might find an institutional home where it could be preserved and made accessible to scholars, Smith Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and Professor of Comparative Literature Christy McDonald approached Leslie Morris, Houghton Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts with the idea of purchasing the items. [Read More]
See also: A conversation about the proofs of Maurice Blanchot’s L’Entretien infini at Houghton Library [Read More]

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