In the case of the “imprecation invoking a ‘never having been’” it is not one’s own existence which is a cause of antipathy but that of another person. On closer consideration, however – and contrary to the intention of the imprecator – a curse invoking the “never having been” of another individual proves to be the very contrary of a curse. Whoever wishes that some other person might never have existed wishes, in fact, nothing negative for this latter; rather they wish only for some course of history alternative to the actual one, a course of history from which the person in question would be, as an entity susceptible of being affected both for good and for bad, simply absent.
Dickens, Charles (1812–1870)
„I wish the blessed old creetur had never been born.” (Dickens, Barnaby Rudge)
Eliot, George (1819–1889)
„There was a half-formed wish in both their minds – even in the mother’s – that Harold Transome had never been born.” (George Eliot, Felix Holt, the Radical)