This essay discusses the minor art form of high-wire walking in order to show that the agency of the death drive manifests itself by adding rather than removing something from the symbolic order. The essay focuses primarily on the work of Philippe Petit, especially the clandestine walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, on August 6, 1974; Petit’s own writings about his “coup”; and the testimonies of the impact of this act on those who witnessed it that are captured in James Marsh’s film, Man on Wire (2008).

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