...obituaries aren't interesting because of what they say about death. They're interesting because of the funny and pathetic way they purport to deal with the unfathomable. Obituaries are little fairytales we tell ourselves, while imagining our own lives as one day complete enough to write about. An obituary, any obituary, transforms lives into stories, with interesting characters, a cohesive plot, and most importantly, a good ending. This is what we've got as humans — not the ability to understand or be at one with death, but the ability to generate lots of stupid crap to fill in the empty space of the unknown. Obituaries can do that as much as anything, and maybe we can think of them both in the Franklinian and Aristotelian sense: They might not complete life nor make it eternal, but they can make us feel better about living in the constant and terrifying presence of death.
Monday, April 27, 2009
..the final edition
I found this piece very interesting reading, its in praise of the obituary (as a form of writing).