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Secomb, Linnell (2002) Autothanatography. Mortality: Promoting the interdisciplinary study of death and dying, 7 (1). pp. 33-46. ISSN 1357-6275 (Print), 1469-9885 (Online) (doi:

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Common sense suggests that we cannot testify to our own deaths, for death terminates existence and with existence the ability to give testimony. Yet philosophers Maurice Blanchot and Sarah Kofman, and novelist Kim Scott have all, in very different contexts, attested to the experience of a death that permeates life. For Kofman, Holocaust deaths cannot be relegated to the past but rather continue to devastate the present. Blanchot's death by firing squad is not so much an event he eluded but an internalized negation, awaiting the death that approaches from the outside. Scott reveals the deaths that haunt the Aboriginal survivors of massacres and eugenic assimilation policies in Australia. If, as these authors suggest, death is immanent within life, then survival is not escape from death, but its internalization.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Published in: Mortality, Volume 7, Issue 1, March 2002. Special Issue: Mourning, Violence and Memory. Guest editor: Sara L. Knox.
Uncontrolled Keywords: death, Maurice Blanchot, Sarah Kofman, Kim Scott
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:21

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