A note on the relationship of Derrida and Blanchot, copied from this book. here, Derrida is being interviewed by Dominique Janicaud. Comments in square brackets mine.
[François Fédier asks Derrida to participate in a book of essays published in homage to Jean Beaufret, the French Heideggerian. Derrida agrees, after some persuasion, intending his piece to be critical.]
And then, one day, once he had the text, Laporte and his wife came to lunch at my house, in Fresnes, in the winter of 1967-68 (probably 1968 already). During a desultory discussion, Laporte, who had been [Beaufret's] student, spoke to me about some anti-Semitic remarks made by Beaufret. Disturbing remarks. He reported some of them, which concerned Levinas, or the fact that the alleged exterminations of the Jews were as little believable as the rumours that circulated concerning the horrors in Belgium after the war of 1914 (that the Germans were killing and slaughtering children); and finally, he spoke to me about remarks of this type that seemed shocking to me not just because of their anti-Semitism but because of their violence. And so I was shocked and upset. Laporte was a bit surprised. perhaps he had not predicted the effect that this could have on me.
[Derrida writes to Fédier, asking to withdraw his text from the homage to Beaufret. Derrida is willing to do this discreetly, but Fedier would not accept this ('He reacted with violence: calumny, etc.!'). Fédier found out that it was likely Laporte who had spoken to Derrida about Beaufret's anti-Semitic remarks. Derrida arranges a meeting in his office at the École Normale between Beaufret and Laporte ('a confrontational meeting'). Following this, Laporte feels increasingly under attack from Beaufret's circle. His wife, Jacqueline, 'had alerted Blanchot in order to protect her husband'.]
Blanchot, too, was in the situation of having given a text to Fédier. Obviously, the Laportes knew that Blanchot was very sensitive, irritable, and anxious about these questions. So, as soon as Blanchot was alerted, he contacted me. I didn't know him at that point. I had read him, of course; we had exchanged a few letters, but I had never met him. It was on the occasion of this affair that I met Blanchot quite frequently, during this limited period in 1968, during the 'events' as one says. We met several times, asking ourselves what we should do - whether we should withdraw our texts or not. And then, after endless deliberations, we were in agreement: Beaufret did not admit to having said these things and we could not prove that he had - it was witness against witness, it was Laporte's word against his - we did not have the right to accuse Beaufret publicly of something that he denied, therefore we had to allow the promised texts to appear.
[Blanchot and Derrida agree to write to other contributors to the Beaufret homage once the book was published. Blanchot sent these letters to the publisher, who did not pass them on.]
Another thing as well: Blanchot said: 'we have to talk to Levinas about this'. Thus I remember one day when I had made an appointment with Blanchot and I picked him up with my car (he lived on rue Madame in those days), and I took him to see Levinas, to whom we then revealed this whole affair, since Levinas had been involved by name, having been the subject of the comments attributed to Beaufret. Levinas took things in a very relaxed way: 'Oh, you know, we are used to it'. He was less emotional about the affair than we were. So there you have it!
[Appendix 1. In a speech given at Blanchot's cremation on Feb 24th 2003, Derrida recalls the date of his meeting with Blanchot as being May 1968, and emphasises the importance of the Events for Blanchot. He also remembers 'the gentleness of a smile' that didn't leave Blanchot's face during their meetings. Appendix 2. Note that Derrida's account means Michael Levinas is wrong about the final meeting between Blanchot and Levinas, which he dates to 1961.]