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The German occupation of France put an end to Maurice Blanchot's career as a political journalist. In April 1941, he began to publish a weekly column of literary criticism in the Journal des Debats, which became the source for his first critical work, Faux pas (1943). As well as providing a unique perspective on cultural life during the occupation, these pieces offer crucial insights into the mind and art of a writer who was to become one of the most influential figures on the French literary scene in the second half of the twentieth century.
In addition to laying the basis for the career of one France's most original writers and thinkers, these articles offer a reminder that Blanchot's political awareness remains undimmed, through clear if sometimes coded acts of criticism or defiance of the prevailing order.
Maurice Blanchot (1907-2003)-writer, critic, and journalist-was one of the most important voices in twentieth-century literature and thought. Michael Holland is a Fellow of St Hugh's College, Oxford.
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