There are three elements to the photograph. There is the grocery cart in the background, the white Renault hatchback in the foreground, and then at center there is the reclusive philosopher who explored literature’s impossibility. This is one of only three photographs of Blanchot widely known, the other two from when he was much younger. No doubt Foucault was referring to him when saying that surely there were others like him, who wrote in order to have no face. Amazing to have lived a life and to have authored so many books yet to have avoided being photographed, or having the photographs circulated. Except here, in his fragility, when he probably least expected it. Not even when he resurfaced to support the May 1968 student protests did anyone dare to take his photograph, and now this. The philosopher is nearly eighty years old in this photograph, if it can be called that, as it is more of a paparazzi snapshot, and he is dressed as you might imagine a French intellectual would dress, in a black turtleneck, wool jacket, and thick spectacles. The photograph was published in the June 1985 issue of Lire, so he is probably overdressed for the weather. Blanchot most likely didn’t have summer clothes. He looks annoyed at this intrusion, and/or annoyed at the indignity of old age and of having trouble getting around. There is something so lonely about the idea of Blanchot going to a supermarket by himself. The monstrosity of the American-style supermarket, all these options, it can be paralyzing. He will have to carry a brown bag outside himself, or push his cart and load his groceries into his car. What does Blanchot buy at a supermarket? I imagine a list that’s ordinary and yet somehow profound, but I struggle to write it. Canned peaches, for some reason, that’s what I fixate on. It is impossible to know.