the future that will not be

The paradox is that in writing a testimony to the power of the undocumentable and nonreproductive I engage the document of the written reproducible text itself. This is the paradox of Lacan’s Real, the Real-impossible toward which we aspire and whose failure to realize is utterly assured. In the fulsome guarantee of this failure, writing records the memory of the image of the future that will not be – the one I will never see. (They are dying and they have taken that future with them.) I am writing in that blank about that disappearance.

– Phelan, Peggy. 1993. Unmarked. London: Routledge, p.31