This book concerns an experience at the heart of Maurice Blanchot’s work for which vigilance is one name. The ‘subject’ of vigilance is not an alert ‘I’, but what Blanchot calls the ‘il’, the ‘he’ or ‘it’. The ‘il’ is a name for the ‘other’ within me; it is a suspension or reduction of the conscious, self-present ‘I’ [le moi]. This suspension can be thought spatially, that is, as it reveals the place occupied by the ‘I’ to be an usurpation of an impersonal streaming and temporally, that is, as it reveals the course of time to be predicated on the work of the ‘I’ to maintain itself as itself. Vigilance can be presented in linguistic terms, that is, in terms of the relation to language.1
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