We are all dying. Even the sun is dying.
Nothing To Be Frightened Of
Every author will eventually become an unread author. And then humanity will die out and beetles will rule the world. A man can fear his own death but what is he anyway? Simply a mass of neurons. We do not produce thoughts, thoughts produce us.
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All true so far as it goes, perhaps, but so what? The older brother who teaches philosophy, keeps llamas and likes to wear knee breeches, buckle shoes, a brocade waistcoat. The simple-minded reader savors this sweet lozenge of a detail.
And there is something infinitely touching when an artist, in old age, takes on simplicity. Showing off is part of ambition; but now that we are old, let us have the confidence to speak simply.
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In this meditation on death, he brings to life, in short sure strokes, his parents, Albert and Kathleen. Signposts and footholds are scarce, and there are no chapter breaks or headings.
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No matter: Barnes is the most companionable of tour guides, quipping and joshing, recounting family stories, citing nineteenth-century French writers, and asking would-you-rather questions like a parlor gamester. The reader may ask, what do radio and TV have to do with all this?
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But wait—that field marshal turns up again pages later. When confronted with religious art, for example, his response is primarily aesthetic.
Irresistible reading. Read An Excerpt. Paperback —.
Nothing to Be Frightened Of - The Barnes & Noble Review
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