Semester of Graduation

Spring 2023


Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

Document Type



In Arthur Koestler’s Darkness at Noon, he examines this loss of self and the method by which a totalitarian regime attempts to extinguish the singular “I,” which Koestler calls the Grammatical Fiction, and replaces it with a collective “we.” In a comparative analysis of Arthur Koestler with Hannah Arendt, this essay will examine the phenomenological experience of terror, interrogation, and isolation, and its cumulative effects aimed at extinguishing the subjective experience of identity, looking at Koestler’s notion of the Grammatical Fiction, while considering its irreducibility, specifically, what that irreducibility is and means to constructions of self and state, and finally, what this relationship is to the act of thinking itself. I will argue that there is something in human being that cannot be reduced, thereby, is irreducible, which this essay will attempt to determine; and, I argue that it is this aspect of human being that totalitarian and other authoritarian regimes specifically target to extinguish because there is something within this irreducibility that is threatening to the regime’s powers. What is this irreducibility? And where does it appear? It can be found, I argue, within the poetic—in expressions of resistance to the logicality pushed in totalitarian regimes where thinking must be absolute and never loose, fluid, or moving. Instead, in totalitarian regimes, thinking must be fixed, static, and incapable of being built by new parts. We encounter the poetic, this anarchical force, in our encounters with desire and romantic love. Why is romantic desire such an anarchical force, and so oppositional to the state? This essay will examine romantic desire as an anarchical force, while considering the act of thinking itself and why totalitarian regimes attempt to control and even extinguish both romantic desire and independent thought. The Grammatical Fiction is that irreducible part of man that resists this containment, which resists this severing into space the subjectivity of the individual, his human capacity for love and the romantic desire of the other.



Committee Chair

Eubanks, Cecil L.



Available for download on Saturday, April 04, 2026