chapter  6
21 Pages

Ending and Beginning

Introduction The last chapter proposed that thinking of mortality represents in an important sense something like a prohibition in social life not simply because it is denied out of fear in the so-called denial of death model but for the reason that such a thought, if recurrent, is a dangerous preoccupation that can interfere with commitment to the meaningfulness of the present at any time. We noted that if the recurrence of such a thought is difficult to manage and an impediment to the administration of jouissance, it can also enlist in its cause, a view of its subversive character because of its temptation to challenge conventional thought by its focus upon the inscrutable limits of life and meaning. In this chapter I begin to examine the ways in which this fascination can pervade and unsettle conduct in everyday life.