This concluding piece begins with a reading of Abe’s 1964 short story “Toki no gake” [The Cliffs of Time] in order to set forth the co-implication of life and death. These terms, which can also be understood in terms of the relation between presence and absence, reveal that life is impossible in its immediate positivity. All life, on the contrary, is informed by death or negativity in a manner that must be conceived as original. That is, life when grasped as finite does not simply meet its end in the fact of death; on the contrary, death understood as possibility haunts life from its very inception. This insight is used to analyze certain passages on identity and community as appears in the novel Suna no onna.
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