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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sounds like DP to me.

The case of Antonin Artaud is perhaps the single most vivid example of diminished presence as it pertains to a death anxiety interpretation. Sass (1996, 2004) offers ample detail and analysis regarding Artaud's lived world. Sass quotes a variety of Artaud's descriptions: "dispossession of my vital substance," "a lack of circulation of life," feeling "abandoned by my body," "my inner enthusiasm is dead," and even "I have no life, I have no life!!!" (Sass, 2004, p. 165). Sass also quotes, "[I am] definitively apart from life...stigmatized by a living death," "I do not think of myself as being alive," and Artaud describing himself as an "emptiness or absence" saying, "[God] has kept me alive in a void of negations and stubborn self-disavowals..." (Sass, 1996, p. 76).

Sass, of course, builds a more complete case for how such utterances as "I have no life" can be interpreted as neither literal nor metaphoric in any traditional sense, and reflect the complex subjectivity of negative symptoms in schizophrenia. It is important to notice in Artaud's descriptions that he does not make the same claims as Cotard patients who also make explicit reference to death in their delusional utterances. Artaud does not claim that he is dead, or that he does not exist. Instead he describes his life as having the character of death (whatever that may be) or, rather, as a "life lacking life."

Given such an existential context, can one properly say that Artaud is anxious about death? Clearly he experiences Nothingness and negation and connects it directly with death as well as a "dispossession" of a "for me." Undoubtedly he is alarmed by his situation and recognizes it is not ideal. Artaud's "living death" seems to be precisely an "experience of nihilation or effacement" like Ratcliffe had described in relation to existential feelings, lived-experience, and delusions.

Just like Heidegger, Artaud seems to experience death as an ongoing, present phenomenon, not a future event. His death is right now, and it has been made that way due to his disrupted sense of ontological relating to the world. Specifically, his altered "ownmost" relating to the world has granted an experience of lacking a self, and thus lacking a potential for future possibilities.
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