In Vladan Desnica’s unfinished novel, The Discovery of Athanatic, “contagion” is presented in a very specific way. Unlike any epidemic that equates people through dangerous experiences, Desnica’s unfinished novel erupts an “epidemic of immortality” that opens up the deepest inequality: inequality before death. Desnica’s novel is not only one of the first dystopian novels in Serbian literature of the 20th century, but it is also a novel about writing a novel, which suppresses the very theme of immortality. Death appears on the horizon of writing and the question arises whether it is possible to write without death at all, which is of supreme importance for the poetics of high modernism. In specific borderline situations, the modernist subject turns to himself and searches for meaning and ultimate truth, which gives Desnica’s unfinished novel, of which an important part has been included in his major novel, The Springtimes of Ivan Galeb, poetic significance. The “contagion” would not have the same literary relevance without it.