Returns into death begin with introductory meditation on two sentences
from Gombrowicz’s Diaries which refer to broad context of western thought
on dying, and especially to the tradition of Friedrich Nietzsche and Martin
Heidegger. In following fi ve chapters I refl ect upon Brunon Schulz’s, Aleksander
Wat’s, Józef Wittlin’s, CzeΠaw MiΠosz’s and Witold Gombrowicz’s
attitude to their own death and to the death of the Other. In the end I also
present a short essay on Jim Jarmush’s Dead Man, which shows how tanatological
refl ection penetrates trough popular culture.
The principle thesis advanced in this book is conviction based on thought
of such thinkers as Heidegger, Bataille, Ricoeur, Jankélévitch, that language
(discourse) of our own death is impossible and that one of the most fundamental
human yearning is yearning for mastering the death, which can be
seen in western culture myths (e.g. Orpheus, Dante). Schulz, Wat, Wittlin,
MiΠosz and Gombrowicz are polish writers who present both: attempts to
transgress the above-mentioned impossibility of narration about their own
death and, in their late works, yearning for overcoming the death.