The Disappearance of Literature: Blanchot, Agamben, and the Writers of the No

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In this book Aaron Hillyer considers the implications of Maurice Blanchot's strange formulation: Literature is heading to its essence, which is its disappearance. This quest leads Hillyer to stage a dialogue between the works of Blanchot and Giorgio Agamben. Despite being primary points of reference for literary theory, no significant critical work has examined their literary writings together. The Disappearance of Literature initiates this new trajectory through readings of Blanchot's The Unavowable Community and Agamben's The Open, two short books that harbor their most enigmatic writings. A series of related concepts-study, community, mysticism, and friendship-emerges from this pairing, and, Hillyer argues, forms the basis of a new vein of contemporary literature found in the novels and hybrid fictions of Enrique Vila-Matas, Anne Carson, and Cesar Aira.