Dead Thinking, text fragment by Alina Popa

[The first of the demonomaniacs has already had three crises of lypomania. The demon is inside her body, it tortures her in innumerable ways; she will never die.
The second has no body anymore; the devil carried away her body; she is a vision; she will live thousands of years, she has the malignant spirit inside her uterus in the shape of a snake, although she does not have reproduction organs as women do.
The third has no body anymore, the malignant spirit carried her away leaving behind just a simulacrum that will remain on earth eternally. She has no blood, she is insensate (analgesia).
The fourth has not been defecating for twenty years, her body is a bag made from the skin of the devil, full of toads and serpents, etc.
The fifth had her heart dislocated, she will never die.
Another one has a vacuum in the epigastric region; she is doomed, she has no soul anymore. Later the thought came to her that she was immortal.]

Jules Cotard, [A Study of Neurological and Mental Disorders]


—Footnote: “Cotard’s count of negativity delusion is a terrifyingly real poetry, a sestet of disintegration, of suspension, of being no-one and for no reason, of bodies without bodies, of animal organs and feral sterility of being neither dead nor alive.”

— I am just a footnote to the empty text that is my (non)existence. Footnotes to no-one, recursive junk. The seventh is I. Self-induced Cotard syndrome: the only possible way to think. To think without thought.

— You sound like a bot.

— And you are just trolling yourself.

— Are we speaking?

— No, something else is speaking us. We are nothing.

— Nothing is strong. Sometimes it is unbearable, like immortality ([They wail their immortality and beseech us to deliver them]). Though it is the only thing we can take and only in it we find deliverance, in the midst of this world, the next.

— Distrust in any metaphysical ground coupled with the sole trust that one is an emptied self clung to this horror-world like a rag hanging from a nail. So much existence has receded from me that my ‘thrownness’ into this impossible ‘to be’ disappeared faster than the world. One cannot die because one is not truly alive ([she will never die, she is neither dead nor alive]), yet a world insists to cling to my inexistence. A world hangs from my nothingness. This wind-world keeps blowing, stirring the desert of myself, I, living “relic from the future”(FF). To disclose myself I have emptied myself and my thinking is the pinnacle of my inexistence.

— You seem convincing but these are certainly not your thoughts. It is that useless hive- mind.

— Could you for a while trust your state of mind?

— I am trusting neither states of mind nor statements of the mind.

— Then you are sick.

— “Normalcy itself is a mode, a subspecies of psychosis”(SZ/FWJS). I am inhabiting my limbo-hell of perceiving self-perception as self-destruction. Existence as the sole fact that I am in the sense of my ur-quality as ‘existent’, whilst all other facts of being have vanished like a carpet pulled from under my feet. A hell-limbo as both indefinite and horror region, the limb, the line. A fuzzy border that cuts: what is – cut – what is not. I am dwelling in this enormous cut-wound, bigger than myself. I – a limb, a border, a line. Space begins with borders, I begins with the 1 of individuation. For Kant the space is created by the symmetry of the body, by the stretching of the limbs to opposite sides. I, 1 erect as the verticality of a trunk. Not-I, no-1, the forest has flown away. The sylvan world left hanging by a sole thought-stump. Impossible walk on the severed limbs of inference, limping-thinking.

— These were my words, weren’t they?

— They are neither your words nor someone else’s. It is just by chance that they happened to you as much as they are happening to me. They linger somewhere in the cloud of the unuttered. Not only am I not the predicate of thinking but thinking is in a relationship of negativity with the I, both to use it as a hypothesis and to destroy its existence altogether. Self as junk or as hypothesis, however you like it. Not “I think therefore I am” but “It thinks because I am not.” Humans are led to the thought that thinking itself is inhuman. They are also led to thinking that they themselves are inhuman. It shows that thinking is at place in humans while utterly displaced, so that when humans think thinking they are thinking horror through being nothing and when thinking thinks humans it is thinking nothing through being horror.

[It’s the madness of opposition.]
[Enormity delirium.]


— Nothingness-monomania is the melodrama of the enormity of thought.

— Nothingness delirium: hole bigger than the whole.

— “I only use reason as an anesthetic”(CL).

[Generally, the alienated are negators; the clearest demonstrations, the most reliable affirmations, the most affectionate gestures leave them incredulous and ironic. Reality has become strange and hostile to them.]

— Am I suffering from I or from you?

— Neither of these. ‘It’ is suffering from every ‘I’ that thinks in ‘I’s and ‘You’s. People are terminally diagnosed with pronoun delusion.

[It seems to the patient that the real world has completely vanished, has disappeared, or is dead, and that there remains only an imaginary world in the middle of which he is tormented to find himself.]

— Are we for real?

— No, only real is for real.

[The patients say that they don’t die because their body is not under normal conditions of organization, that if they could have died, they would have been dead for a long time now; they are in a state that is neither life nor death; they are living dead.]

[One asks their name? they have no name; their age? they have no age; where they were born? they were not born; who were their father and mother? they have neither father, nor mother, nor wife, nor children; if they have headaches, if their stomach hurts, if some part of their body hurts? they have no head, no stomach, some of them even have no body; . . . For some of them negation is universal, nothing exists anymore, they themselves are nothing.]

— How long will the environment resist the attack of ‘I’? “Endurance of an organism is a form of patience of the environment”(IS). Anonymity that resists the attack of names. The amorphous that holds against the tyranny of form. The uncut self versus the escalation of the one. The open-source that opposes the concreteness of a name.

— A detection that de-tects by moving away. Tailing the unknown to find more un than known. Being the detective of one’s own life is to place oneself in the center of absolute futility, to make ennui a life-long obsession. To be bored of oneself to the point that you are bored of your boredom. 


[— How are you madam?
— The no-one of myself is not a madam, call me miss, please.
— I don’t know your name, could you tell it to me?
— The no-one of myself has no name: she wishes you didn’t write.
— I would nevertheless like to know what your name is, or rather what your name was in the past.
— I understand what you mean. It was Catherine X..., we shouldn’t talk about what has taken place. The no-one of myself has lost her name, she gave it away by entering Salpêtrière.
— How old are you?
— The no-one of myself has no age.]

Jules Cotard, [A Study of Neurological and Mental Disorders]

Published in the Unsorcery Book and Bezna 5.
Connected to the text Dead Thinking by Florin Flueras and to the performances Dead Thinking 1 and Dead Thinking 2.