The radiant indifference of being: The mystic fable of The Passion According to G.H.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


It is a truism, that we are not self-created beings, that each of us has been singularly brought into the world by others, that we did not beget ourselves. From the Biblical image of the fall of humankind to Heidegger's existential schema of the "fallenness" of human existence, what it is to be has been reflected upon in terms of what it is to have been not self-created. To have been marks our being, and yet, we only come to know, or realize, our own created existence belatedly, after the fact, in a sudden awareness that we have already been before we have been for ourselves. This realization of having been born is often experienced in a register of emotional shock, as the trauma of creation. As a trauma, it is structured by the disjointed time of what Freud called Nachträglichkeit. The "shock" of having been born is only experienced as an affect after the fact, even as this fact must have occurred before; the affect is disjointed from the shock even as the shock can only affect us afterwards. Through an exploration of the literary writings of Clarice Lispector, this paper examines the philosophical significance of the "emotional shock" of having been born. In contrast to Heidegger's emphasis on the anxiety of "being towards death" or Sartre's nausea, I argue for the originality of Lispector's conception of createdness in the radiance of its realization, as expressed in the pithy formulation: "the pain of creation, yet without the creation."

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Politics of Emotional Shockwaves
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9783030560218
ISBN (Print)9783030560201
StatePublished - Feb 8 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'The radiant indifference of being: The mystic fable of The Passion According to G.H.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this