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Tony Grist

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The Economist Book Of Obituaries: Keith Colquhoun and Ann Wroe [Jul. 17th, 2019|09:58 am]
Tony Grist
The Economist is a weekly paper that publishes a single obituary per issue. Clearly the editor has to be selective- and the dead people who make the cut aren't always the obvious ones. Ted Heath is here- as are Gerald Ford and John Paul II but they rub shoulders with the last surviving British cavalryman of the Great War, a Frenchwoman who lived to be 122, a monk who bred a disease resistant bee and a spirit medium who took dictation from dead composers. Often the death is used as a peg on which to hang a little essay on cultural and social attitudes. Judgement is skewed towards the personal. Whoever wrote the piece on George Harrison isn't much of a Beatles fan and Alan Ginsberg is treated with something less than full seriousness. There seem to be rather a lot of Catholic priests in the mix and a paucity of the 57 other varieties of religious leader. Taken as a whole the book amounts to a quirky, frequently amusing overview of the 20th century. I've been dipping in and out- and my mood on putting the book aside is always a little less sunny than it was when I took it up.

We have lived through dispiriting times.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: akalablossom
2019-07-17 02:23 pm (UTC)
I could do better at George's obituary. :(
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-07-17 02:52 pm (UTC)
The obituarist thinks the Beatles are "probably over-rated". Like you I beg to disagree.
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[User Picture]From: akalablossom
2019-07-17 03:36 pm (UTC)
THE HELL? Over-rated? *grinds teeth*
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