October 5, 2011

Beyond the Shelf - Famous last words

Authors have got a lot to say. They might not always actually say it and rather write it down, but ultimately they convey a message with either spoken of written word. Allegedly they also do so with their last breath. Speaking or even writing (!) a last message to their family or the world. Facing death they come up with wise and eloquent words that inspire (or confuse) those who are curious enough to want to find out about those famous last words in the first place.

While it is hard to judge if certain words have really been spoken, some writers really did leave last messages in printed form.

When Emily Dickinson became too ill to leave her bed, she would write short notes to her family members in order to communicate. The last note she wrote read: "I must go in, the fog is rising."

A note found by Mark Twain's deathbed read, "Death, the only immortal, who treats us alike, whose peace and refuge are for all. The soiled and the pure, the rich and the poor, the loved and the unloved."

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