Aukje van Rooden
November 11, 2020
Ever since their translation in the course of the 20 th century, the works of Kafka have been widely appreciated by French intellectuals. Kafka’s greatest admirers include Maurice Blanchot and Jean-Paul Sartre, both of whom consider his work an exemplary illustration of their own poetical-philosophical views. This is remarkable, because Blanchot’s and Sartre’s respective views are generally conceived of as opposites. Apparently, then, these two authors who are so divergent in their philosophical views and literary criticism, as well as in their own literary works, find themselves on the same page in their appreciation of Kafka. I will argue that this shared appreciation not only reveals some unexpected points of agreement between them, but also facilitates an interesting intellectual encounter between Blanchot and Sartre in the late 1940 s. It is, we will see, only on the basis of an agreement with regards to Kafka’s work that their ways can part.