Abstract

This article examines Jean-Paul Sartre’s concept of committed literature as a manifestation of the tendency in Western modernity of conceiving literature as a form of praxis anchored in work. Discussing an alternative idea of engagement formulated by Maurice Blanchot, Roland Barthes, and Albert Camus, the essay develops a notion of exhausted literature that questions the prioritization of work and action in predominant models of commitment. Exhaustion is proposed as a politically and ethically motivated literary strategy of suspending the group-forming morality which, as a product of modern valorization of work and action, has accompanied literature of verisimilitude, activity, and oriented time.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 291-313
Launched on MUSE
2013-10-20
Open Access
No
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