Monday, 1 January 2007

Death, life

‘Death is not an event of life. Death is not lived through’ [Wittgenstein, Tractatus 6.4311]. But what a strangely instantaneous notion of death! And wouldn’t it be better to say that death is something we begin to live through; and that whilst we can't of course complete the ‘living through’ of death, this matters much less than you might think. Stitching full-bodied constellations out of discrete and few stars is what human beings do, after all. We all can piece together a whole play from a suitably full fragment, or extrapolate a whole statue from a trunk. Bodying forth the shape death takes as a lived event is what we start to do as soon as we start out dying; which is to say, from our youth onwards.

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