This article traces a link between Jorge Semprun's autobiographical representation of exile and loss in Adieu, vive clarté . . . (1998) and his recent Holocaust-related texts, L'Écriture ou la vie (1994) and Le Mort qu'il faut (2001), arguing that Adieu sheds important light on the aesthetic and ethical aspects of his Holocaust writing. Drawing on work by Derrida and Jabès, it examines the autobiographical narrating subject's relationship to language, exile, trauma, gender, alterity, and writing. Further, it assesses Semprun's narrative strategies of multilingualism, intertextuality, and periphrasis in his reworking of autobiography as autothanatography to represent the trauma of exile and loss and to speak for the absent m/other. © Modern Humanities Research Association 2008.