December 26, 2007


During one of my habitual late-night tours of the internet, yesterday, I came across a page of famous last words, and was pretty tickled to discover that James Joyce, that great author of impenetrable modernist gobbledegook, is reported to have uttered before dying:
"Does nobody understand?"
Yes, well, I think you brought that one on yourself, James.

Jacques Derrida, on the other hand, went positively Hollywood Tearjerker as he lay dying:
"I love you and am smiling at you from wherever I am."
Which, honestly, is kind of disappointingly diaphanous coming from the man whose major contribution to Western thought is, by his own admission, so ridiculously difficult to grasp that even he can't define it (though perhaps this explains why he is smiling at us wherever he is; maybe ROTFLHAO is more like it...).

Beethoven's last words have always charmed me:
"Friends, applaud, the comedy is finished."
But, because I feel like this could have been yanked directly from a Conversations With Greatness panel, I think my favourite discovery last night was Karl Marx's last remark:
"Go on, get out — last words are for fools who haven't said enough."
I guess it's kind of morbid that I spent Christmas looking up dying words. Oh well.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

You think YOU'RE morbid? I spend a part of every day doing this. Visit

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