In La Corde et Ies souris Malraux attempts to overcome human transience and mortality by memorializing the ephemeral through the artifice of writing. The rhetoric of the self-portrait takes the form of a historical narrative in which the relationship of history to memory as textual archive affords the Malrucian subject a "reprieve" by effacing the inherent status of contingency. The text thus becomes a veritable cultural mausoleum that sublates the implicit negation of death and allows the author to become more than a conscience without memory.

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