Maurice Blanchot (1907-2003) was a French writer, philosopher, and literary theoriest whose writings had a strong influence on philosophers such as Deleuze, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, and Jean-Luc Nancy, among others.
He began his career on the political right, but the experience of fascism altered his thinking to the point that he supported the student protests of May 1968. Like many members of his generation, Blanchot was influenced by Alexandre Kojeve’s humanistic interpretation of Hegel and the rise of modern existentialism influenced by Heidegger and Sartre.
His best know philosophical works include La Part du feu, 1949 (The Work of Fire); L’Espace littéraire, 1955 (The Space of Literature); Le Livre à venir, 1959 (The Book to Come); L’Entretien infini, 1969 (The Infinite Conversation); L’Amitié, 1971 (Friendship); L’Ecriture du désastre, 1980 (The Writing of the Disaster); and La Communauté inavouable, 1983 (The Unavowable Community).
Blanchot is a constant point of reference for Deleuze in the Cinema and Foucault seminars.