There was a story I read long ago. I think it was by Ray Bradbury. It is certainly in his style. In the future all fiction has been banned and burned. The ghosts of Poe and Lovecraft and all the others live on in a haunted mansion on Mars as long as one copy of their work remains. The fragmented memory of that story was called to mind by the recent passing of good Mr. Bradbury together with the recent anniversary of the passing of a friend who was cut down relatively young and suddenly by a particularly aggressive cancer.
We tend to hold on to the strangest former possessions of the dead and other reminders. We put off cleaning out the closet for months, even years. When Grandmother died her dresser drawers still held her underwear for years, protected by cedar and melancholy. I know I am not alone in this reluctance because there is a thriving business in New York City that does this sad chore for a fee for those who cannot bear to.
Likewise I have my dead friend’s e-mail address in my contact list. His blog lives on, I am sure. Tim Leary’s blog marches on and he has been gone sixteen years now. He waits for me there to keep an interview that death cheated us of, still smiling. Robert Anton Wilson’s site is still running too. That is the wonderful thing about the computer age. Cyber-monuments are inexpensive and easy to maintain. No matter how badly the medical costs lay waste to a man’s estate a friend or relative with a password and a few dollars a year can give your words and ideas a kind of immortality.
In this way the iconoclast may actually have the last word after all. Perhaps Leary and Wilson will be remembered after Nixon’s “Six Crises” is consigned to the remainder bin of history.
At least it pleases me to think so.
Be seeing you.
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