A Psychoanalytical Study: Memory, Naratology, Story Teller-audience, and Récit in Maurice Blanchot's The Step Not Beyond

Document Type : Original Article


Department of English Literature, Faculty of Literature and Foreign Languages, Islamic Azad University, Karaj Branch, Alborz, Iran



This paper illustrated the new state of memory in terms of the act of representation through the notion of "récit" as the non-narrative entity outside of narratology in Maurice Blanchot, French literary theorist and novelist. This study used the argumentative method through theoretical and analytical design to move from Freud to Blanchot through discussing the notion of memory. For the present study, Freud ideas on memory was theoretically were analyzed in order to prove how Blanchot goes beyond Freud and propose the new state of memory. It was proved the récit happens outside memory completely in the sense that memory is no longer perceived as the place of past experience. For Blanchot, it is because what is called the present does not pass and we live always in this present in which there is neither presence nor absence. The new term 'the extended present' was coined to imply the absence of a being in a unified entity passing from the past to present and going into the future. Being does not come to presence. Therefore, it is illusory that the past is filled with events in associative chains of meaning or narrative organization. The récit neither narrates the past nor the present; it actually illustrates the impossibility of narration. Blanchot's view of memory is an empty space in the sense that the occurrence of events lingers from the past to the present and continues in future. An event does not begin and end in a specific period of time