The Most High


The Most High

Maurice Blanchot
Translated with an introduction by Allan Stoekl

French Modernist Library Series

258 pages


May 2001


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Author Bio

Maurice Blanchot has been for a half century one of France's leading authors of fiction and theory. Two of his most ambitious works, The Space of Literature and The Writing of the Disaster, are also available in Bison Books editions. Allan Stoekl is the author of On Bataille and Agonies of the Intellectual: Commitment, Subjectivity, and the Performative in the Twentieth-Century French Tradition (Nebraska 1992).


"Blanchot describes a world where the Absolute has finally overcome all other rivals to its authority. The State is unified, universal, and homogenous, promising perfect satisfaction. Why then does it find revolt everywhere? Could it be the omnipresent police? The plagues? The proliferating prisons and black markets? Written in part as a description of post–World War II Europe, Blanchot's dystopia charts with terrible clarity the endless death of god in an era of constantly metamorphosing but strangely definitive ideologies."—Translation Review

The Most High's somewhat hallucinatory parables clearly have their precedent in Kafka. But if the novel bears a resemblance to The Trial, it portrays a trial whose stakes are reversed. . . . Blanchot's work is of a cold absurdity. If Sorge [the book's protagonist] has any 'significance,' it is that he is not even insignificant, not even the anti-hero of modernism, but rather an absolute nonhero—the only role possible in a posthistorical society." —Review of Contemporary Literature

"Today, fifty years after the manuscript was first delivered to the publisher, and as the temptation to turn aside from the impasse of politics becomes ever more beguiling, the appeal of The Most High has perhaps never been more urgent."—Legal Fictions

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