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By John Limon

Just about all twentieth-century philosophy stresses the immanence of dying in human life-as force (Freud), because the context of Being (Heidegger), because the essence of our defining ethics (Levinas), or as language (de guy, Blanchot). In Death's Following, John Limon uses literary research (of Sebald, Bernhard, and Stoppard), cultural research, and autobiography to argue that dying is healthier conceived as continuously transcendentally past ourselves, neither immanent nor coming near near.

Adapting Kierkegaard's adaptations at the subject of Abraham's near-sacrifice of Isaac whereas refocusing the emphasis onto Isaac, Limon argues that dying can be imagined as though hiding on the finish of an inexplicable trip to Moriah. the purpose isn't really to steer clear of or forget about dying yet to conceive it extra really, repulsively, and pervasively in its camouflage: for instance, in jokes, in logical puzzles, in bowdlerized folks songs.

The first of Limon's key strategies is maturity: the lengthy anti-ritual for experiencing the total distance at the glance of loss of life. His moment is dirtiness, as theorized in a Jewish shaggy dog story, a logical exemplum, and T. S. Eliot's "Ash Wednesday": In every one case, unseen dust on foreheads indicates the invisibility of inferred loss of life. no longer spotting demise instantly or admitting its immanence and imminence is for Heidegger the defining attribute of the "they," humanity in its inauthentic social escapism. yet Limon vouches all through for the mediocrity of the "they" in its soiled and ludicrous maturity. Mediocrity is the privileged place for previewing dying, in Limon's opinion: perform for being forgotten. In refusing the decision of twentieth-century philosophy to stand loss of life courageously, Limon urges the moral and aesthetic price of mediocre anti-heroism.

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