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Levinas Studies

Volume 1, 2005

Jeffrey L. Kosky
Pages 157-171
DOI: 10.5840/levinas2005111

The Blessings of a Friendship: Maurice Blanchot and Levinas Studies

Levinas scholarship in English has come a long way since his major philosophical works were translated some 35 years ago. Almost all the writings appear in English, and it is not a great exaggeration to say that the major theses have been explained and the major problems exposed. The task now is to make this seeming point of arrival into a new beginning. For students interested in exploring new directions in Levinas studies, a reading of Maurice Blanchot could prove immensely rewarding. Companions since they first encountered one another at Strasbourg when each was not yet 20 years old, Levinas and Blanchot remained friends until Levinas’s death in 1996 and Blanchot’s in 2003. While we can only imagine the significance the friendship had for each of them, for the rest of us it proved what Jacques Derrida called “a grace, a blessing for our times.”