The fictional and theoretical writings of Pierre Klossowski
This thesis gives an extended account of the fictional and theoretical works of writer, essayist and painter Pierre Klossowski. Through a close analysis of the relationship between his essayistic and novelistic writings it considers the way in which Klossowski comes to theorise the nature of the literary artefact as a space of theatre or spectacle and how such a formulation questions received notions of identity and traditional distinctions between the literary and philosophical per se. The first chapter is devoted to Klossowski's writings on Sade. This involves a short account of the articles he wrote in the 193Osbut also a comparison of the 1947 and 1967 editions of his full-length work on Sade entitled Sade mon prochain. This is followed by a discussion of his later reading of Sade its relation to writings on Sade by Georges Bataille and Maurice Blanchot. Through this the crucial shift in Klossowski's conceptions of the Self and of identity that occurs between his earlier and later writing has been traced. The second chapter looks at Klossowski's writing on and relationship to Nietzsche. This relationship is articulated under the motifs of parody, translation, and myth. The sense of these motifs in relation to Nietzsche's texts is analysed with reference to a number of works by Klossowski (La Vocation suspendue (1950), Nietzsche et Ie cercle yicieux (1969), and Le Bain de Diane (1956)). From this discussion Klossowski' s emphasis on the fortuitous character of the Self and on writing as spectacle has been highlighted. The third and final chapter examines Klossowski's trilogy of novels Les Lois de l'hospitalite, and in particular the figure of Roberte, and concludes by arguing that the truly transgressive force of his writing lies in the way in which it overturns the notion of origin and with that the concept of identity and self-sameness.