25.1 | Kiene Brillenburg Wurth and Inge van de Ven

Posthumously Speaking: Thanatography in a Posthuman Age


In this article we explore thanatographic writing, fictional writings writing of and from death addressing the issue of survival, in the light of posthumanism and our current information age. We aim to show how thanatographic writing reveals deep-seated anxieties about storage, retrieval, memory and forgetting in the information age: the age of digital technology that enables us to write ourselves ‘outside of ourselves’ in cybernetic networks. What do these modes of self-survival tell us about personal identity in the digital age? In how far has personal identity become a posthuman identity, and what is the nature of this identity? We explore this triple question on the basis of a literary and a cinematic text on amnesia and repetition: Tom McCarthy’s Remainder (2005) and Christopher Nolan’s Memento (2000).