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Tag Archives: death

Our love affair with life

The great affair, the love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible, to groom one’s curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred, climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sun-struck hills every day. Where there is no risk, the

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Death stops time

In the June issue of Harper’s magazine, Geoff Dyer writes about the pictures photographer Chloe Dewe Mathews has taken of places where people died in World War I. Some are battlefields marked by graves or monuments. But they’re also of

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In the sunset of dissolution …

In the sunset of dissolution, everything is illuminated by the aura of nostalgia, even the guillotine. I don’t know why but a year or two ago, I copied this sentence in a notebook. It comes from “The Unbearable Lightness of

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The homeless, art and Basquiat’s anger

“Art is the only thing that’s left in the world,” said a homeless mixed media artist in Above Ground, a study of aging artists in New York City. He was 72. I read somewhere the other day that the life

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Here we are, old. Which direction will we take?

“Here I am in my mid-70s, and I am wondering: Is now the time to take a final stab at unfinished business—to accomplish at long last the remaining goals on my lifetime to-do list? Or is now the time to

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Morbid Curiosity

Have you ever heard of plastination? Somehow, I’d missed it. In the 1970s Gunther von Hagen of Heidelberg invented a process that preserves a corpse by flaying it, freezing it, soaking it in acetone, impregnating it with silicone. There have

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Of life, death and music

My friend Pam died last Friday. I’ve already celebrated her life on this blog (March 20), and I haven’t too much to add. I’ll miss her presence, books and magazines cascading around her chair, Daniels Pond lighting up her face

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Following Madame Tussaud into the uncanny valley

A decade ago, a New York Assemblyman tried to have Arafat removed from Madame Tussaud’s in New York City. He threatened to cancel a Republican fundraiser at the wax museum if the Palestinian leader wasn’t removed. It’s not just amazing

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Exhibiting death at Madame Tussaud’s

Madame Tussaud’s biographers differ about many of the details of her life. Her “uncle” may have been her father; her connections to Versailles may have been exagerrated; and, of course, she may have labored under less onerous conditions to make

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Death at The Turquoise Door

I walked into The Turquoise Door in Austin, Texas and found Death singing, playing cards, feasting on tamales and papayas, and riding bicycles. It was moving in procession down the length of counters and across tables. I could almost hear

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