The recent publication of the Cahiers de l'Herne dedicated to the works of Maurice Blanchot, gathering correspondences, dedications, manuscripts and photos into a personalized archive, marks a significant turning point in the study of Blanchot's writing. For many of Blanchot's readers, the publication of the Cahier is perhaps ethically troublesome as well, due to Blanchot's well-known secrecy and thoroughly cultivated public invisibility. Of particular interest are the private photos reproduced in the Cahier, given Blanchot's extreme reticence to appear before the public eye. In order to critically consider the new photographs and the visibility they offer, I propose to trace Blanchot's own thoughts on photography throughout several of his philosophical and literary works. While visual aesthetics at first appear rather underrepresented in Blanchot's writings, once the photographic is sought out its appearances are manifold, and a coherent position emerges. In this article, I build my position on the Cahier's publication through my research on Blanchot's writings around the photographic medium, which touch questions of private and public representation, encounters of absence and presence, memory and celebrity. Photography occupies the margins of many of Blanchot's writings, and in this moment of complicated visibility, they deserve careful consideration.


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pp. 113-129
Launched on MUSE
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