For Schopenhauer “just as sleep is the brother of death, so is swooning its twin brother” (Schopenhauer, Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung). And the swoon, indeed, is closer to death than is sleep, inasmuch as the former is entirely dreamless.  The French author Daniel Pennac has documented a kind of childish striving toward non-being: a friend squeezes tightly the narrator’s chest after this latter has completely expelled his breath, giving rise to a transitory non-existence (unconsciousness) which is what had been desired. “We played at inducing swoons in one another…it was assuredly a delightful experience!”[1]

[1] „Nous avons joué à nous évanouir… En tout cas, c’est vraiment délicieux !” (Journal d’un corps, eBook, Pos. 277-78 and 281)

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