Walking and Death


"Once one has distinguished between these two ways of ending— dying and perishing— one must take into consideration what Heidegger calls an intermediate phenomenon (Zwischenphenomenon): the demise, the Ableben, which all the French translators agree to translate as deces. Ab-leben, to leave life, to go away from life, to walk out of life, to take a step away from life, to pass life, to trespass upon death [trépasser], to cross the threshold of death, thus means de-cedere. Already in Cicero’s Latin, this figure of straying while walking [écart fait en marchant] signified dying. This écart reminds us that the moment of the ultimate separation, the partition that separates from life, involves a certain step/not [il y va d’un certain pas]. (Aporias 37/Apories 72)"

“On many occasions, Derrida had himself addressed these issues—among them his discussion of Heidegger’s notion of “being-towards-Death.” In Aporias (Apories)—pub- lished in 1992 (twelve years before his own death)—Derrida focuses on what he calls “the aporias of death.” By another reading of Heidegger’s Being and Time, as already noted, Derrida distinguishes between dying (Sterben/mourir), perishing (Verenden/ perir or crever), and deceasing (“demising” in the English translation) (Ableben/déceder):”



Mixed Messages

She is inside a wooden box, underneath a pile of flowers.

She is adding, one.

She is touching the wood, trying to get closer to her, fighting the urge to open the lid.

She is so close.

She wants to scream.

She is standing there in silence, hands holding on, to the edge, as long as she dares to.

She has to keep moving.

There is a line behind her.

Flowers waiting to pile up.

She has to keep moving.

She has to keep walking away from her.



Credit: European Space Agency, NASA, Keren Sharon (Tel-Aviv University) and Eran Ofek (CalTech)