Sunday, July 18, 2010

Thoughts from a Forest of Fallen Trees on coming to a dead end.
In Section 47 of Being and Time, Heidegger makes a distinction between the deceased, (Der Verstorbene) and the dead person (dem Gestorbenen). Another distinction is made between perishing (Verenden) and ending. We turn to the first distinction between the deceased and the dead person. According to Heidegger, the deceased is that which "has been torn away from those who have remained behind". The second distinction concerns perishing and ending. We never experience the coming-to-an-end of the deceased. We only experience the loss of the loved one. However, according to Heidegger, "in suffering this loss... we have no way of access to the loss-of-Being as such which the dying man 'suffers'" In a certain sense, when another dies we can only be "there alongside". At the moment of watching and waiting and crying we will eventually encounter a corpse, which according to Heidegger is "something unalive, which has lost its life". What remains behind according to Derrida, are memories, impressions, traces, photographs, and the ash of mourning.
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