Designed for Incompletion

Eugene Thacker, Cosmic Pessimism (2015): 65

On Bibliomania. It is striking how many of the works of pessimism are incomplete — Pascal’s Pensées, Leopardi’s Zibaldone, Lichtenberg’s Sudelbücher, Joubert’s Carnets, the stray fragments of Csath, Kafka, Klima, Pessoa… These are not just works that the author was unable to complete, cut short by illness, depression, or distraction. These are works designed for incompletion — their very existence renders them dubious. I like to think this is why such works were so precious to their authors — but also so insignificant, a drawer of paper scraps, in no particular order, abandoned at one’s death, like one’s own corpse.

Still, even an incomplete work can be finished.