Living and Dying

Living and Dying

Living and Dying

Living and Dying

Excerpt

As I write it is early September, still very warm on Cape Cod. Looking out from the corner of my study window, through the morning mist, I can barely make out the ocean in the distance. A few days ago Eric Olson and I completed our final revisions on this book. (How long have we been working on it? Many years? A few days?)

The mist evaporates, and the dunes and ocean become vivid. They are reassuring in their boundlessness and seeming permanence. The book, on the other hand, is all too vulnerable. (Who will read it? What will they make of it?) Not only vulnerable but perishable. (Will it last beyond this printing? Can it have meaning, over time, for the two people to whom it is dedicated--Eric's grandfather, age eighty-eight, and my daughter, age eight?) Can the book, that is, become in some way part of the endless cultural tide that parallels what the ocean seems to suggest? Can it contribute to this perpetual creation and re-creation of images and forms, even if absorbed and divested of its own original form?

Authors must be permitted such thoughts, especially . . .

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