Anxiety is the obligatory gateway into writing: one’s confrontation with powerlessness and anguish when faced with the task of thinking.
This is not the familiar anxiety of our most intimate fears, however violent they might be. Yet by exploring these same pathways twentieth-century thinkers such as Artaud, Blanchot, Derrida, Beckett, and Levinas set out to create new modes of thinking. All evoke the remarkable creative force residing at the heart of this negative anxiety. The anguish of thought thus denotes this experience of writing—as joyful as it is maddening—wherein I think outside Myself.
Evelyne Grossman has written on modernist thinkers, including the books La défiguration: Artaud, Beckett, Michaux and Artaud, L’aliéné authentique. She is a professor at University of Paris VII.
Matthew Cripsey studied philosophy and French. He has a degree in translation studies.
"Grossman's voice is one belonging to a flesh and blood human, the waves of its joyful anxiety practically radiating off each page."—Popmatters