Locus of a Secret

Maurice Blanchot, “Joubert and Space,” The Book to Come

… Joubert had this gift. He never wrote a book. He only prepared himself to write one, resolutely seeking the right conditions that would allow him to write. … He was thus one of the first entirely modern writers, preferring the center over the sphere, sacrificing results for the discovery of their conditions, not writing in order to add one book to another, but to make himself master of the point whence all books seemed to come, which, once found, would exempt him from writing them.

… [Ending a list of similarities between Joubert and Mallarmé] [T]he feeling that literature and poetry are the locus of a secret that should perhaps be preferred to anything else, even to the glory of making books.

… He seems to have been a failure. But he preferred this failure to the compromise of success.

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