Haunted Experience: Being, Loss, Memory

Julian Leonard Wolfreys

Research output: Book/ReportBook


​Julian Wolfreys starts with loss. All memory is the memory of loss…

All that we are, all we experience, all we remember, all that we forget but which leaves nevertheless a trace on us, in us, a trace that countersigns and writes us as who we are (in effect the constellated matrix of Being’s becoming): this is a process of loss. This just is loss. Loss is who we are.

Loss is authentically the necessary and inescapable inessential essence of Being. Loss names the ghosts, the revenants of Being, Being’s others. Neither there nor not there, loss persists as the always already becoming of the thinking of Being. There is more than one loss. There is no one loss. Loss never arrives for a first time. All loss is the return of what is lost to Being’s being in the world.

From that starting point, the author explores the nature of being and dwelling… of memory and the nature of the traces of the past… of apparition and appearance and perception… of touch and being touched… of the material and the (a)material.

In a book that draws in multiple threads from 19th- and 20th-century European literature, he references extensively Heidegger, Derrida, Lacan, Cixous, Celan, Husserl, Woolf, Joyce, Hegel, Badiou, Rilke, Merleau-Ponty, Winterson, Stockhausen and True Detective in an impressive and eclectic tour of the being-becoming-loss.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherTriarchy Press
Number of pages236
ISBN (Print)978-1-911193-02-9
Publication statusPublished - 5 Sept 2016


  • loss
  • being
  • history
  • translation
  • place
  • phenomenology
  • Merleau-Ponty
  • music
  • dreams
  • memory
  • Derrida
  • Cixous


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