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The Last Man

ISBN13: 9780231062442
ISBN: 0231062443
Binding: Hardcover
List Price: $75.5
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Published Date:
Pages: 89
Average Goodreads rating: 3.95/5 (26 ratings)

"Blanchot, eminent author of many volumes of fiction and criticism (Death Sentence, The Gaze of Orpheus), ranks among French practitioners of the "anti-novel," which challenges and dismantles the usual storytelling conventions.

Three anonymous, phantom-like people—two men and a woman—drift and muse in the game rooms, corridors and piano alcove of a seaside hotel or sanitorium. The narrator, a newcomer, loves the young woman. Much of the time these two converse, exploring their existence (or non-existence) and their relationship to a professorial man who is "not very old yet strangely ruined."

The ambiguous condition of the three suggests the living death of a shared dream, hallucination or endless wait in limbo, where emotions still have sharp validity. At times the novel has the quality of a musical poem, with themes and variations played on certain words: calm, space, light, suffering.

Reading Blanchot is to submit profoundly and willingly to the disorienting power of language. Written 30 years ago, The Last Man stands as an innovative work of postmodernism."

— Publisher's Weekly