from the blanchot variations – part 2

Colin Campbell Robinson








37.  What is the ravishment of mystical fusion; a language without words?

38.  In this annulled night, the death of the delicate, anonymous and invisible.

39.  Point out the fish, how much to pay: the cracking of shells.

40.  Can we be responsible for passivity? What can be resisted, the passive, or is non-resistance the only resistance?

41.  Have mercy in the Zone.








42.  to let time

take all its time

43.  They forgot and thought this was thinking.

44.  Outside of memory, there is a memory outside.

45.  Endure without resisting.

46.  Night without darkness: white night of the endless steppe.

47.  the wounded space

the hurt of dying

48.  To live in a time without stories.








49.  Which day is the youngest day, the day surpassing all days?

50.  Justice in every moment: come down from Sinai.

51.  The missing seagulls return while red boats think red at the wharf.

52.  there coincides with nowhere

53.  What can be found best not sought? Write 10,000 words on the 10,000 things.

54.  thank you for all these words

that have not been spoken

55.  Deprived of the right to turn back from the cave, shades and shadows:

no words, no dreams, adrift.

56.  but what sort of coming

is a dream

through what night

does it make its way

 57.  Dreaming without memory, dreaming without end: waking has no beginning, as if never present, always ‘as if’.

58.  Only in love is there suspension: no longer, not yet.

59.  Cold water slaps the immovable.

60.  Can we learn to die?

61.  Once again the ruins: today is poor, please explain.

62.  Anonymity, loss of self, loss of sovereignty and subordination, utter up rootedness, exile, the impossibility of presence, dispersion…whose words are these? Be discrete.








63.  Death, life without death: the imperishable.

64.  lost


65.  Neither affirmation nor negation: ‘nay’, nothing doing.

66.  Think about the non-true, how is this different from lies?

67.  Does collapse bear repeating? Cite Hegel.

68.  keep watch over

absent meaning

69.  There are those who desire writing, there are those who desire knowledge: there are those who desire.

70.  reading does nothing

and everything is accomplished

 71.  Within the fragment, a morsel, a nugget and a rich repetition.

72.  you theoreticians

know that you are mortal

and that theory is already

death in you

73.  Listen, silent whispers and tacit intensity: no longer know there is truth.

74.  Know burning patience.

75.  Who are the most fleeting: who are the swirl?








76.  There are those who desire to dream, a necessary failure falling short.

77.  in his dream



       but the desire

       to dream

78.  Dissolute power, a black wheel, a dark star buried in being known: say again the final silence.

79. the law’s scheme

      that prisoners construct

      their prison


80.  Who has been remade into quantum clouds blown across the universe?

81.  Dissimulation, camouflage the day and pretend it isn’t here.

82.  No simultaneity, no duality, no fullness, and no void: who said this, when was this said, where was this said?

How it is, already said.

83.  Do we all desire the fall? There are those who desire loss. Let the boat capsize.

84.  Unhappy, because you were not the other, because you were the other, says Ovid on the banks of the Black Sea.

85.  What is, is what?

86.  For the second time ‘clinging’ to the lost finger pointing nowhere. Don’t rush; discuss Hegel, discuss him again.

87.  A deeper read waits around which corner?

88.  Can we write outside language?

89.  the fleeing silence

        of the countless cries



V 2 comprises 222 variations on Maurice Blanchot’s The Writing of the Disaster. The passages in italics are Blanchot’s own words.

Numbers 1-36 appeared in e-ratio January 2016.

About the Work

Colin Campbell Robinson

Colin Campbell Robinson is an Australian artist living on the Isle of Bute off the west coast of Scotland. Colin’s work appears in a wide range of journals most recently in Shearsman, BlazeVox, Creative Literary Studio, Molly Bloom, and Empty Mirror. His book, Blue Solitude – a self portrait in six scenarios, has been published by Knives Forks and Spoons Press. For further information about Colin visit

back to:

From the Archives