“The day before my brother died of AIDS, I spoke to him on the telephone. His birthday was the next day. I remember thinking that if he made it past his birthday, he’d be able to put off the date of his death for a year. He just needed to hold on for twenty-four hours to have one more go-around of existence, until the next time. Because there’s a temptation to go out where you came in, to take the same rift in time through which your soul, to use the common parlance, has to become incarnate in a body.
“Ludwig Wittgenstein died on April 29 and was born on April 26, whereas Thomas Bernhard passed away two days before celebrating his fifty-eighth birthday, which is also the anniversary of the death of his grandfather, whom he adored; the river into which Osamu Dazai threw himself washed him back up on the very day of his thirty-ninth birthday; and there were so many others, famous and anonymous, who attempted to close the parentheses at the place where they had opened. My brother didn’t have the strength to go by square one a thirty-third time; he died during the night.”
—Grégoire Bouillier, Report on Myself