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Tony Grist

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Immortality [Aug. 22nd, 2004|11:51 am]
Tony Grist
We all want to leave something behind when we die- a name, a family, a book. For much of my life my ambition was to write at least one poem that would find its way into the anthologies.
I realize now that this is unlikely to happen.

"To invoke posterity is to weep on one's own grave." It's ridiculous to want to live on after death, so what atavism is at work here? Is there some evolutionary imperative being served?

From: archyena
2004-08-22 04:42 am (UTC)
Allow me to make a suggestion. A jeweler in my hometown used to write books of religious poetry and then self-publish them. He then proceeded to submit every one of them to the Library of Congress where they are kept to this day. It's a rather interesting way to memorialize yourself I think, imagine one day someone is searching for poetry, stumbles across your name, and then investigates on a lark. Doubtful that it will be the find of the century, but it has that artifact quality, not unlike stumbling across a Roman coin upturned by new landscaping in a park.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-08-22 05:21 am (UTC)
I see the attraction, but...

There have, of course, been people who really did achieve posthumous fame by self-publication- William Blake for instance.

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[User Picture]From: mokie
2004-08-22 01:32 pm (UTC)
I think it's the need not to be left alone--maybe make that left behind--by the rest of the human pack. We talk about making our mark, but really it's not us fighting not to leave the world, but not to be left by the world.

Even if it's only symbolic, if we leave some tangible trace of ourselves in the race then some part of us is still there keeping up the pace, even if really we've long since fallen behind and been consumed by time.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2004-08-22 02:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah, we want to travel forward, if only as a book in somebody's kit-bag. What an interesting way of looking at it.
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[User Picture]From: mokie
2004-08-26 10:58 am (UTC)
If we've made some mark, we will be remembered; we fear that once we die, we might as well not have existed. It's a bit depressing.

If I remember correctly, the Norse believed something like that--that the only immortality was through the memory of others, so go out there slashing and hacking for all you're worth!
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