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Subject: Maurice Blanchot, 95, Novelist and Essayist

died Feb. 20
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Date Posted: March 02, 2003 10:29:40 EDT

Maurice Blanchot, a reclusive French novelist and essayist who influenced the postmodernist intellectual movement championed by Jean-Paul Sartre and Michel Foucault, died on Feb. 20. He was 95.

Coming of age in the 1930's, Mr. Blanchot was among the first French intellectuals to take an interest in issues of language and meaning. In his critical writing he came to insist that for the writer and the reader, language can never capture everyday reality.

Among his novels published in English are "Thomas the Obscure," "Death Sentence," "The Last Man," and "Aminadab." His critical works include "The Sirens' Song: Selected Essays of Maurice Blanchot."

Before World War II he was an outspoken rightist, but after the German invasion in 1940, his fascism gave way to French nationalism.

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