For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Totality and the Common: Henri Lefebvre and Maurice Blanchot on Everyday Life"

by Jen Hui Bon Hoa (2014)


In Anglo-American scholarship, the everyday is often defined as that which escapes regimes of signification and bureaucratic regulation. Although Henri Lefebvre is generally cited as the principal theorist of everyday life, this definition is clearly modeled on Maurice Blanchot's ideas—which I argue are fundamentally at odds with Lefebvre's. This essay examines the disjunctions between Blanchot's ontological and Lefebvre's sociological approaches to everyday life, focusing on their discussions of community and the public sphere. Through this comparison, I identify two models of political resistance at stake in contemporary debates about community: one centered on elusiveness to authority and totalizing regimes of representation, and the other on solidarity and collective action.


Lefebvre. Blanchot, Everyday Life, Political Résistance, Community, Representation, Solidarity


On Blanchot, On Blanchot

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