A passage towards death, or the phenomenology of no longer reading


  • Daniel Fraser CRMEP Kingston


Phenomenology, Blanchot, Poulet, Hegel, Mythology, Benjamin


This article examines the interruption of the phenomenological experience of reading caused by an encounter with a particularly striking sentence or passage. More specifically, the text interprets the passage of language from text to reader as a moment of quotation whereby language is inscribed within the register of biological life. Drawing on the work of Blanchot and Benjamin the article suggests that this capture of a textual fragment, its transfer into the reader’s memory, simultaneously challenges and reaffirms the violence of conceptuality Hegel identified at the heart of language.

Author Biography

Daniel Fraser, CRMEP Kingston

Daniel Fraser is a postgraduate scholar in Film Theory (Trinity College Dublin) and Philosophy (CRMEP). His previous work has engaged Catherine Malabou's philosophy in relation to Marx, Blanchot and the problem of literature, and the act of reading. His primary interests are in Marxist philosophy, communism, cinema, plasticity, literature and the failure of language. His work has previously featured in the Los Angeles Review of BooksBerfroisGorseMusic and Literature, and the Marx & Philosophy Review of Books among others. Find him on Twitter: @oubliette_mag Email: danieljfraser87@gmail.com


Benjamin, Walter. “Karl Kraus.” In Reflections. New York: 1978.

Tabucchi, Antonio. Vanishing Point. London: 1993.