Gareth Williams Installment II: Rough Notes on Antonio Gramsci’s Pre-Prison Writings, pp. 87-202 The New Order (June 1919-September 1920)

In “The Italian State” (7 February, 1920) Gramsci observes that “Marx has been just a saint to hang over the pillow, a name which means nothing except a medal, a postcard, a liqueur” (142). Gramsci is unsettled by the banal commodification of Marx by sectors of the Left. The question for us today is, if there is to be a Gramsci for the 21stcentury—that is, if there is anything to sustain a historically inflected re-evaluation of the tradition called “Gramsci’; if Gramsci is to be something other than just another saint to hang over the pillow of contemporary Leftism, then what questions do his writings lead us to ask, and to explore further? There is a challenge to 21st century Gramscianist revivalism, or to neo-Gramscian philology, when, in “The Communist Party” (1920), he himself observes that “every historical phenomenon . . . must be studied for its own peculiar characteristics, in the context of contemporary realities, as a development of the freedom that manifests itself in ends, institutions and forms that absolutely cannot be confused or compared (except metaphorically) with the ends, institutions and forms of historical phenomena in the past” (188). Instead of philology or revivalism, then, a reading not only of the limit called Gramsci(anism), but also the limits of, and internal to, Gramsci.

  1. Political theology

In my initial notes on his writings three weeks ago, I emphasized Gramsci’s orthodox Hegelianism (1914-1919), in direct relation to his definition of an emergent, specifically socialist, epochality:

“Spirit” is the moving forward of the new shape of the new era.  It is this glaring contradiction alone—between the claim to method and having decided on a prior conclusion regarding finality, or Absolute Spirit—that informs Gramsci’s understanding of a socialist epochality. While the proletariat is the determined negation of the bourgeoisie, the dialectical passage by which the proletariat ceases to be merely a negation of the bourgeoisie and becomes entirely Other is never really elucidated, other than by claiming the absolute reconciliation of the State-society relation at some point in the proletarian overtaking of the State and the full achievement of consciousness; the entirety of humanity coming into its own (humanity achieving its destinal completion)”.

Spirit” (which is a synonym for universal, de-territorialized equality, that is, for the end of differences in the human condition itself) is another name for the end of tradition, to the extent that the entire tradition of Roman law is dedicated to the question of inequality, difference, and pluralism. For Gramsci the proletarian revolution signals the destruction of tradition—the end of a certain destining of the West—and another beginning; the figure of the communist militant is a figure of that destruction and new beginning. We should keep this problem in mind, however. Last week Alberto pointed out that Gramsci provides a political theology at the time of the demise of political theology itself.  In “The Communist Party” Gramsci admits as much, and is perfectly ok with the idea of communist revolution being a humanist secularization of God: “The Communist Party is the only institution that may be seriously compared with the religious communities of primitive Christianity . . . one can hazard a comparison and establish a scale of criteria for judging between the militants for the City of God and the militants for the City of Man” (189-90).

In “The New Order”, Gramsci turns explicitly in the direction of the State and the organization (unions, councils, Party etc) of the revolutionary proletariat. He turns precisely to the question I signaled in my first set of notes regarding the means by which to guarantee causality in the relation between proletarian faith in the end of tradition, universal equality, and historical recommencement.  However, in his writings dating from June 1919 to September 1920, on two occasions Gramsci recognizes a problem of not insignificant proportions, that is, the means do not, and never seem to be able to, rise to the metaphysical level of the end. In “The Conquest of the State” he notes that “a lucid and precise awareness of the end is not being matched by an equally lucid and precise awareness of the means required, as things stand at the moment, to achieve that end” (113); and in “Syndicalism and the Councils” he displaces the idea of the union on the basis that its “means are not appropriate to the end; and, since the means are, in any case, nothing other than one moment of the end that is in the making, it must be concluded that trade unionism is not a means to the revolution” (128). The dictatorship of the proletariat, it appears, is unflinching faith in the end, that is, in metaphysics, in conjunction with the ceaseless critique of the insufficiency of the means, which are, at any given time, the end “in its making”.

  1. Means

How, then, does Gramsci conceive of that transitional phase—and the gap—between means and end, or the (secular) event of (communist) paradise on earth? Chrisitanity “has gone as far as it can”, only The Communist Party can produce “a new set of rules for living” (187). What can be said regarding the means for achieving this nomic event capable of guaranteeing an unprecedented “emancipation” (even though what we are actually seeing is the grafting onto the terrain of a defunct metaphysics, of a new metaphysics)?

(In my first set of notes I highlighted that “Gramsci’s geopolitical world comprises Turin, Italy . . . Germany . . .  England . . .  France . . . and Russia”. In The New Order, the world of the Soviets is emphasized.  This socio-economic and political geography is not insignificant when we see how Gramsci conceives of the historical dialectical passage from means to ends. In the back of my mind is Hannah Arendt’s Crises of the Republic. Arendt pointed out in this work that the nineteenth century doctrine of progress had united Liberalism, Socialism and Communism into the “Left” (126): “The notion that there is such a thing as progress of mankind as a whole was unknown prior to the seventeenth century, developed into a rather common opinion among the eighteenth-century hommes de lettres, and became an almost universally accepted dogma in the nineteenth . . . Marx’s idea, borrowed from Hegel, that every old society harbors the seeds of its successor in the same way every living organism harbors the seeds of its offspring is indeed not only the most ingenious but also the only possible conceptual guarantee for the sempiternal continuity of progress in history” (127). But, she adds, such a metaphor is not a solid basis upon which to erect a doctrine of continuous progress. Progress, she says, is, and always was, an article of faith “offered at the superstition fair of our times” [130-1]).

The means toward the dictatorship of the proletariat in Gramsci, which uncovers the existence of a nomic countertype (a counter-metaphysics) developing and extending from within the nineteenth century doctrine of progress itself, involves different organizational forms (council, Party, union etc), certainly. However, more importantly, it involves an a priori claim to the legitimacy of a particular understanding of experience born directly from the perceived historical singularity of the socialist epoch:

  1. Historical Singularity:

In “The Price of History” (1919), the unification of the masses produces a translation into everyday life of the phenomenal reality of “Spirit”. Class unification allows for the transition to, and for the translation into reality from, Spirit, simultaneously. This marks the moving forward of the new shape of the new era (and this is made possible by the realization of a new orderability of humanity, which is also the end of tradition). The possibility of absolute uniformity of consciousness, “perfect unity”, marks the historical singularity that is socialist epochality from Hegel (1807) to Gramsci (1919).  Never before in human history has (European) humanity tended so naturally towards the perfection that is the One: “Humanity is naturally tending towards internal and external unity; towards an order of peace and tolerance which would permit the reconstruction of the world” (“Price” 95). It appears, then, that in the nineteenth century the forces of ‘the Left’ were able to claim legitimacy because they were able to define and reproduce the representative parameters of an order of experience that humanity had never imagined before. A new beginning for the idea and experience of experience itself is central to the history and legitimacy of the Left: “The experience of liberalism is not a useless one, and it is possible to progress beyond this experience only if we experience it” (“Conquest of the State”, 110). Perhaps the key to understanding the historical significance of the Left is to be located less in its challenges to the Law than in its ability to lay claim to a recommencement of collective experience on a ground other than that of bourgeois experience. It is this promise of a recommencement of experience that precedes the political theology of communist “consciousness”.

The contemporary Left can still stake a claim on the experience of exploitation, without doubt. However, it can stake no claim on a historically unique experience of a recommencement of experience capable of leading to emancipation of any kind, never mind the way Gramsci understood it. This, it seems to me, is no trivial matter.

For Gramsci, the historical singularity of socialist epochality in 1919-1920 is to be located in the promise of an experience of experience itself, which is capable of forging “iron-clad battalions of the politically conscious, disciplined proletariat”. If this image of the regimentation of mass experience is the singular experience of emancipation in potentia, the opportunity provided by the history of capitalism in the 19th century, and if this marks an epochal singularity that “perfects civilization”, as Gramsci puts it, then the academic Gramscians of the 21st century who wish to be something other than “dilettantes” out on “a romantic escapade”, need to consider what image the singularity of contemporary historical experience (if there can be such a thing) might uphold now. In the absence of such a thing, contemporary Gramscianism can choose to (a) romanticize and monumentalize (ie. use Gramsci as a saint to hang over the pillow, as a museum piece capable of ‘keeping us in touch’ with the socialism of the 19th-20th century, and nothing else); (b) extend philological exegesis in the name of uncovering something never before seen presumably in the hope of revitalizing the entire tradition from Hegel to the present, which it will never achieve; (c) Read and discuss in such a way that the singularity of the 21st century no longer conform to the conceptual world born from the Hegelian interpretation of European humanity and progress at the end of the 19th century.  Is there an event in Gramsci other than that of the counter-orderability of humanity understood as emancipatory end, and neo-Chrsitan metaphysics? Is there an event in Gramscianism? Clearly not. The notion of singular experience is still at stake (if there is to be a Left). I wonder, however, what Gramsci(anism) offers for our understanding of global techno-capitalism (surveillance capitalism, algorithmic capitalism, computational capitalism, the immediate extraction of value from the living itself, indeed, from death)? Clearly, the liquidation of the Left is guaranteed only by assigning Gramsci the value of a saint to hang over the pillow, which could also be called nihilism.

  1. End, European Humanity, Civilization

The dictatorship of the proletariat is the reconversion of the notion of historical singularity into experience (or faith), while also initiating the struggle for the nomic ordering of planetary consciousness. What form does the end—the dictatorship of the proletariat—take in these writings? What is the world picture, or Weltanschauung, in Gramsci?

He is very clear.  In “The Factory Worker”, (February 1920) he embraces the image of the world as factory: “The proletarian cannot live without working and without working in an orderly, methodical way. The division of labor has unified the proletarian class psychologically . . . the more he feels the needs for order, method, precision; the more he feels the need for the whole world to become like a vast factory, organized with the same precision and method and order which he recognizes as vital in the factory . . . projected out into [a] system of relation that links one factory to another, one city to another, one nation to another . . . it is only the working class now which retains a real love for labor and the machine” (152-3).

The dictatorship of the proletariat extends beyond the confines of Europe (Turin, Italy, England, France, Germany, Russia), and proposes, as end, the planetarization, the very Westernization itself, of European humanity (logos, techne, machinism). It is what Heidegger would refer to as a confrontation internal to techne, for mastery over planetary machination and calculation (“Society . . . dies if it does not produce” etc [Gramsci 153]). The planetary rationalization of existence, however, = “emancipation” in Gramsci, and European humanity becomes “the whole world” as a counter-type to the bourgeois mode of production, thereby raising the question of what constitutes a new beginning (see Nancy, Banality). One must wonder, then, how the whole world can be a counter-type, and how a counter-type can emancipate.

If we take seriously Gramsci’s insight that “every historical phenomenon . . . must be studied for its own peculiar characteristics, in the context of contemporary realities” (“The Communist Party”, 188)—then the understanding of communist emancipation uncovered in Gramsci’s early writings, as a relation between means and ends, uncovers the logocentrism of European humanity in its ultimate form, as a planetary [political-theological] counter-metaphysics. This counter-metaphysics is the on-going non-completion of the nineteenth century doctrine of progress, a doctrine, nevertheless, that has now succumbed to domination and destruction. Does Gramsci(anism) have anything to say about that problem, I wonder?

Prologue for the new edition of Alberto Moreiras’ Tercer espacio: Literatura y duelo en América Latina. (Nottingham, UK, 2018). By Gareth Williams

Con pies de paloma y corazón de serpiente: Tercer espacio: Literatura y duelo en América Latina

In the work of mourning, it is not grief that works: grief keeps watch.

Maurice Blanchot, The Writing of the Disaster.

Thought abandons itself to its own opening and thus reaches its decision, when it does justice to this singularity that exceeds it, exceeding it even in itself, even in its own existence and decision of thought. It is also in this way that it does justice to the community of existents. This means that thought has no practical, ethical, or political action to dictate. If it claims to do so, it forgets the very essence of the decision, and it forgets the essence of its own thinking decision. This does not mean that thought turns away from action and is hostile or indifferent toward it. On the contrary, it means that thought carries itself in advance of action’s own-most possibility.

Jean-Luc Nancy, “The Decision of Existence”.


Grief lies heavily at the heart of the decision for thinking. If grief uncovers the singularly passive and inoperative experience of staring death in the face, of keeping silent watch over that which nothing can be said, and therefore over that which is forever prior to and in excess of thinking’s abandonment to its own opening and decision, then grief is the originary and unspeakable other of language that carries itself, in its vigilance, not only in advance of thinking’s own-most opening and possibility as mourning, as the toil for a certain understanding, but also in advance of every action’s possibility. Grief is the originary other of language, the affective passivity that carries itself in advance of every responsible act of thinking and writing. As such, it is the infra-structural foundation of thinking and writing. But grief per se can never be political. Rather, it is only ever an infrapolitical caring for the depths of the abyss of being-towards-death, or for the painful assumption of a certain responsibility towards the limit and possibility of existence. For this reason the work of mourning, the laborious pursuit of an assignable place for death, or for the death of the other, traverses the pre-political passage from grief to an attunement in thinking and writing that strives to account for the possibility of freedom and existence. As Jacques Derrida put it in The Gift of Death: “Concern for death, this awakening that keeps vigil over death, this conscience that looks death in the face is another name for freedom” (15).

“Loss”, Maurice Blanchot observes, “goes with writing” (84). But a loss, he continues, “without any gift (a gift, that is, without reciprocation) is always liable to be a tranquilizing loss bringing security” (84). Alberto Moreiras’s Tercer espacio: Literatura y duelo en América Latina (1999)—a book that is dedicated to the memory and image of a dead mother and to a surviving father (that is, to the Nietzschean double inheritance), yet a book that is also a conscious meditation not on (for this is not a work of representation) but through the auto-graphic loss and memory of the ‘raya’ dividing Portugal and Galicia; of the Barcelona movida in the wake of the death of the dictator Franco; of an originary language lost and transformed by the experience of wandering and of academic re-institutionalization in the United States; of the identitarian drives of the Latin Americanist Left before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and all of this in the wake of the decision for thinking from within the closure of metaphysics announced persistently by Nietzsche, Heidegger, Derrida and others—is anything but the writing of a tranquilizing loss bringing security.

Tercer espacio was conceived and written at the intersection of three simultaneous registers of mourning: “El registro de la literatura latinoamericana a ser estudiada, el registro teórico propiamente dicho, y el otro registro, más difícil de verbalizar o representar, registro afectivo del que depende al tiempo la singularidad de la inscripción autográfica y su forma específica de articulación trans-autográfica, es decir, su forma política” (14). In a disquieting gesture toward the reader located a hundred pages prior to the book’s end, Moreiras presents the variability and instability of the names of mourning through a kind of orgiastic over-abundance of designations striving to lend some form of consistency to the un-nameable and incommensurable language that no one speaks, that is, to the eternal recurrence of the non-occurrence of grief and the restless experience of loss that writing simultaneously uncovers and occludes: “La escritura del duelo va hasta aquí acumulando nombres: escritura del tercer espacio, escritura de la ruptura entre promesa y silencio, escritura lapsaria, escritura que repite lo indiferente, escritura de la anormalidad ontológica. Todos estos términos mentan un mismo fenómeno, cuyo carácter fundamental es el intento de sobrevivir a una experiencia radical de pérdida de objeto” (291-2). In addition to these attempts at survival in writing, the reader can also reference the question of ‘critical regionalism’, of the ‘punctum’, or the subalternist critique of postcolonialism, to name just a few more that come to mind in a reading of this work twenty years after its initial publication.

Tercer espacio’s consistent gesture toward a future reciprocation—toward the possible activation of a responsibility, of a decision, and therefore of an answer to the other in the face of the impossible—is repeated in the book’s final lines with a fitting farewell in reference to Tununa Mercado’s novel En estado de memoria. Here we encounter an invitation for the reader to stand vigil in the face of a destitution that is the only possibility for a future responsible act. Moreiras observes in the end that the “sorda demanda de restitución desde la destitución . . . es . . . el resto abierto de este libro expuesto a la demanda literaria que ahora llega a su fin” (397). An invitation and double demand for an intellectual conduct or future conceptual comportment, for a response, in the wake of literary destitution—of the emergent and on-going abandonment of literature as compensatory national allegory—that Tercer espacio itself has consummated and brought to completion.

Now what is to be done? Moreiras asks. While grief is the originary and singular gift that no one can receive as such, Tercer espacio is the solitary yet also trans-autographic exploration of the contours of mourning, and therefore the quest for a possible reciprocation, for a collective wake without which there can be no common politics fully attuned to the closure of metaphysics and the expiration of the historically assigned value of ‘the literary’.

Twenty years after its original publication in Santiago de Chile in perhaps the only publishing venue in the Spanish-speaking world at that time (Arcis/LOM Editores) that could lend a hospitable ear to such a work (but also a venue that sealed the book’s limited distribution), it is now clear that in the face of such a singular work the almost complete non-reciprocation of the field of Latin American literary and cultural studies both in the U.S. and Latin America confirmed a constitutive preference for the tranquilizing security of identity and difference, over and above any unsettling petition for thinking from a position other than that of the metaphysics of the subject (for the object of bereavement is ultimately that of metaphysics itself).

If Tercer espacio was an invitation in the late 1990s to a collective wake in light of the closure of metaphysics and the concomitant demise of literary Eurocentrism—indeed, in light of the exhaustion of the literary itself—the field has responded over the last two decades with a vociferous demand for more and more humanist metaphysics in the name of the “decolonial option” advanced by Walter Mignolo, Enrique Dussel, Anibal Quijano and their innumerable acolytes, for the populist politics of solidarity with the Global South, for subjectivist militancy, and for the descriptivism of the myriad forms of historicism, cultural anthropology and sociology that have sequestered cultural studies in the name of institutional interdisciplinarity.

Rather than approaching the complex apostasy that this heretical, demonic book offered, the field embraced the vociferous veneration of the Creole cultural and political tradition along with the common sense protocols of its authority, orthodoxy, rule and doctrine. Postcolonial papalism (with all the faith in subjective conversion, redemption and sacrifice that this implies) actively displaced a mode of thinking that proposed the gift of death, a creative self-sacrifice or destitution, to the nihilist identitarian ground of the entire Creole inheritance and the tranquilizing security of its university knowledge. In that shallow success the possibility for a re-commencement of the ethico-political became increasingly obscured, and remains so.

Tercer espacio was a work of heresy that fell almost entirely on deaf ears in the years after its publication. There had been no prior clearing in the field of Latin Americanism for the existence of a book such as this, and when it was published in 1999 there was still no space for it. It is, in this sense, a singular work of destructive freedom, a welcomingly irresponsible call in the dark for an other intellectual responsibility.

In the late 1980s and 1990s the field of Latin American literary and cultural studies was still very much dominated by the formation and protocols of its national literary traditions; by the national allegories of Latin American literary modernism (the ‘Boom’) and all the other national allegories that came after it (the so-called ‘post-Boom’). But it was also characterized by occasional sociological discussions of the exclusions upon which such nomenclatures and aesthetic systems were forged, and by the techniques of narrative transculturation and ‘the Lettered City’ that had been mapped out by Ángel Rama in the 1980s. Latin Americanist Hispanism in the United States existed with its back firmly turned away from the theoretical renovations that had been occurring throughout the 1980s in the fields of Comparative Literature, English, Film Studies, Geography, French, etc. Anything that smacked of philosophy, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, postcolonialism or post-Marxism was considered a mere importation and was treated with the suspicion of inauthenticity (“Why read Foucault when we have Rama?” etc). Talk of postmodernity was reduced to less than a handful of young and particularly perceptive readers in the early to mid 1990s, but globalization was for the most part dismissed because, it was said, the nation-state still provided the historical impetus to national culture, despite the growing evidence to the contrary. There was almost no mention of neoliberalism in cultural circles and absolutely no talk of the financialization of capital. In the early 1990s Beatriz Sarlo strived to account for the shifting scenes of postmodernity but essentially lamented the end of metanarratives tout court. In the wake of the Central American wars of the 1980s the Latin Americanist Left in the United States embraced the genre of the testimonio as a supposedly “real-life” political counterweight to “elite” cultural forms such as Boom and post-Boom literature. Minor gestures toward deconstruction in the field emerged for the first time in the early 1990s as a small number of Yale trained Latin Americanists began to acknowledge the literary technique of the supplement, for example. But as long as the closure of the metaphysics of subjectivity itself remained firmly off limits, the archive of Creole humanism and its regional ontologies could persist unharmed in such a way that deconstruction could just be labeled an ivory tower for the vacuous exercise of elite word games and political undecidability, which is where both the Left and the Right of the field achieved consensus. In the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall the Latin American Subaltern Studies Group pursued a populist politics of solidarity from the North, publishing its 1993 “Manifesto” in part as an intended corrective to the fact that the debates on postcoloniality in the English-speaking academy had ignored Latin America entirely. Meanwhile, after the 1992 Quincentenary of the Spanish colonization of the Indies a de-colonizing “darker side of the Renaissance” was detected, largely overlooking the fact, however, that the so-called darker side of the colonial history of Eurocentric territorial expansion was in fact the historical and conceptual accomplishment, the very anchor and metaphysical guarantee, of logos itself. It is from within this constitutive conceptual and political impasse first announced in the mid 1990s that the “decolonial option” reveals its central and still unresolved quandary; namely, that no critical discourse in the historical development of the field turns around, enjoys, and markets its structural dependency upon the perpetuation of Eurocentric metaphysics (identity and difference) quite like the “decolonial option”, which is the logocentrism of “Occidentalism” in action. To this day, such is the state of the field of postcolonialism in its Latin Americanist vein.

And then, with resonances of Nietzsche’s Zarathustra (“con pies de paloma y corazón de serpiente”), came Tercer espacio: Literatura y duelo en América Latina, a book that coincides in its publication with the development and finalization of Moreiras’ The Exhaustion of Difference (2001), and in which the kernel of the later works Línea de sombra (2008) and Marranismo e inscripción (2016) can be clearly discerned.

As already suggested, no other book dealing with Latin America prior to Tercer espacio had as its point of departure the closure of metaphysics, thereby indicating that no other book had adopted finitude as the essential un-ground from which thinking can only ever be an infrapolitical labor of mourning, rather than a dialectical quest for the revelation of Spirit. No other book had displayed a sensitivity to the shifting grounds of its times in such a way as to position itself on the cusp of a globalized financial capital that now reigns supreme. No other book had grappled with the Cuban legacy not from the orthodox identitarian languages of Bolivarian anti-imperialism but from within the labyrinthine unorthodoxies of Lezama Lima, Sarduy and Piñera, thereby assuming the responsibility of destitution not only as a goal in itself but as a singular modus operandi for dismantling the conformist politics of the given. No other book had seen through and invalidated the conceptual and political foibles of the so-called “decolonial option” even before they rose to become the common sense of the field. No other book positioned itself so clearly at the beginning of the demise of the avant-gardes and of the on-going insolvency of the category and institutional destiny of “Literature” as both national Boom and post-Boom allegories, doing so, nevertheless, by opening up literature to new contours for the conceptual labor of mourning from within the closure of metaphysics itself (in this sense, the readings of Borges presented in Tercer espacio remain unsurpassed to this day). No other book had questioned so effectively the facile formulations of the Latin Americanist politics of solidarity that emerged in the wake of the Central American civil wars of the 1980s (in this sense, the reading of the Hegelian dialectic or of Cortázar’s involvement in Nicaragua presented herein remain unsurpassed). No other book in the field of the Latin Americanist humanities had shown the slightest interest in the question of virtual reality, techne and cyber-punk dystopia, and unfortunately nothing much has changed in that regard in the last twenty years. Finally, amid so much Latin Americanist talk of transculturation and cultural hybridity, no other book had amalgamated so creatively the field of Latin American literary and cultural studies with the fundamental theoretical renovations that had occurred during the 1980s and 1990s in the U.S. university. This meant that through Moreiras’ bibliographical de-territorialization of the field at that time, Finnegans Wake, Duchamp, Blanchot, Bataille, Kojève, or Allucquére Rosanne Stone (who is now widely recognized as one of the founders of transgender studies) could have as much room in the field as any sociologist or literary critic hailing from Arequipa, Montevideo, or Córdoba. Such things were unheard of . . . and for the most part still are.

“Ya todo es póstumo” Severo Sarduy had noted prior to his death (quoted in Moreiras, 311). In the wake of this welcome initiative to re-issue almost two decades after its publication the truly singular work titled Tercer espacio, hopefully the posthumousness that the book stands vigil over throughout——its care for letting being-towards-death come to the fore in the language of tradition—will no longer be greeted with the tranquilizing and immunizing silence of the metaphysics of oblivion, but with the sustained reciprocation that a work of this distinctiveness solicits and deserves. However, you might prefer to not hold your breath . . .

Works Cited

Blanchot, Maurice. The Writing of the Disaster. Translated by Ann Smock. Lincoln, U of Nebraska U, 1995.

Derrida, Jacques. The Gift of Death. Translated by David Wills. Chicago, U of Chicago Press, 1995.

Moreiras, Alberto. Tercer espacio: Literatura y duelo en América Latina. Santiago de Chile, LOM Editores, 1999.

Nancy, Jean-Luc. The Decision of Existence”. In Birth to Presence. Palo Alto, Stanford UP, 1993: pp. 82-109.