“A Life is Everywhere”: Suicide, Immanence, and Representation in Narrative, A Critical Commentary for Talitha Koum

  • Ashlee Lynn Okan

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This critical commentary explores the concept of immanence and the representation of life in the context of suicide in fiction. This theory of immanence, which philosopher Gilles Deleuze called the “very vertigo of philosophy,”1 embeds life and death on the same plane instead of death being opposed to life. In this thinking, immanence situates life as present in all things and everywhere. In this context, with death seen as included in life, the critical commentary and the novel, Talitha Koum, contemplates how a form of death, suicide, positions itself in the philosophy of life and its representation in fiction. In a novel about the effects of a suicide on a family, Talitha Koum engages with immanence by embedding life and death throughout the story. This critical commentary intends to engage with these ideas and to study how other writers such as Eimear McBride, Jokha Alharthi, Akwaeke Emezi, E. B. White, and Virginia Woolf have engaged with issues such as immanence, death, and suicide in their work. In addition, this critical commentary reflects how my study of philosophers Henri Bergson, Gilles Deleuze, and Giorgio Agamben has influenced my writings’ treatment of life and death.
Date of Award2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorLuke Thurston (Supervisor) & Jacqueline Yallop (Supervisor)

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