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Ending and Unending AgonyOn Maurice Blanchot$
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Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823264575

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823264575.001.0001

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The Contestation of Death

The Contestation of Death

Chapter:
(p.46) The Contestation of Death
Source:
Ending and Unending Agony
Author(s):

Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe

, Hannes Opelz
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823264575.003.0004

In this chapter, Lacoue-Labarthe returns to The Instant of My Death, examining notions of testimony. Referring to Kant, Rousseau, Hegel, Hölderlin, and Mallarmé, the chapter briefly comments on concepts of finitude, condition, and origin before elaborating on the impossible experience of death as the condition of literature. After revisiting Malraux, Montaigne, and Rousseau and making particular reference to Plato’s Phaedo, Lacoue-Labarthe discusses the status of autobiography as “autothanatography” and of experience as a “journey through death.” The chapter returns to notions of testimony and other closely related terms, recalling the previously elaborated concept of “originary scenes” as experienced in death and childhood. Montaigne, Malraux, Rousseau, and Plato are again analyzed in further detail toward the end of the chapter.

Keywords:   Testimony, contestation, autobiography, autothanatography, allobiography, experience, Plato, birth of literature, philosophy, the political

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