Blanchot’s Theory of Language and Narration in Lydia Davis’ Selected Short Stories

Document Type : Original Article


member of faculty at Islamic Azad University of Arak IRAN



The aim of the present study is to show how language and narration function in the selected works by Lydia Davis based on Blanchot’s theory. Lydia Davis is an American writer known for her idiosyncratic and extremely short stories often characterized by clear observations of mostly material and daily events. One aspect that Blanchot points out is the spacing among a literary text. This spacing or distance refers to how a literary text resists interpretation and reaching the singular truth by the reader. The more, the reader attempts to understand the text, the further the meaning slips. As a result, a relation between the text and the reader is created. The present essay shows how Davis experiences death or becoming through her writings. The author shows her sacrifice and becoming the other in her short stories; in Meat, My Husband, Davis becomes no one and every one at the same time; she becomes the wife, the cook, and the meal but she is not any of them as well. In Jack in the Country, Davis reflects the field where no transcendental being is detected. Davis’s stories manifest Blanchot’s theory of language and narration in which the author is engaged with dying process, yet ironically neither he dies nor she is reborn. The aim of the present research is to show how Davis experiences the dying process and becoming the other.


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