Politics and Ontology of the Image: Godard’s Debt to Blanchot


This essay proposes that, beyond the play of allusions, the pervasive and enduring references to Maurice Blanchot in Jean-Luc Godard’s films constitute a “clandestine friendship,” a constellation of elective affinities, and a debt that thinks the ontology and the politics of the image. It identifies a specific lineage in the troubling parallel of experiences between Blanchot and Godard, that of a “political passion” to borrow the expression Blanchot once used in a letter to Roger Laporte. A singular knotting of aesthetics and politics, this political passion is also closely intertwined with a political romanticism, and at times even with a “revolutionary romanticism” determined by a shared dialogue with German Romanticism and “a fragmentary demand” allied with the strength of protest and refusal.

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