Facing Death: Theme and Variations

By F. David Martin | Go to book overview

III
Variations

Sometimes death, puffing at the door,
blows all the dust around the floor.

—George Herbert


Variation 1: A Taste of Death

But where danger is grows the saving power also.

—Holderlin

THE MENU FOR DYING WAS ON MY TABLE RECENTLY IN FEBRUARY 2003 IN Tucson, Arizona, I was given an unrequested and unwelcomed main course—viral double pneumonia. It was dicing time. For about six weeks, there was a chance that I was not going to make it. I was so tortured with fitful fever, pounding brain, grinding lungs, and drenching barbiturates that I wanted resolution—either do me in you damn bugs or get the hell out. I was beginning to prefer death at a gulp rather than piecemeal. Break, break, break!!! Then good old Emerson’s Law of Compensation, those miserable weeks gave me interesting material for reflection. Facing death in fairly good health is one thing; facing death when seriously ill is quite another. It is much easier to be brave from a safe distance. George Eliot in Middlemarch got it right. Casaubon, a scholar, has just concluded a fateful consultation with Lydgate, his physician:

Here was a man who now for the first time found himself looking into
the eyes of death—who was passing through one of those rare moments
of experience when we feel the truth of a commonplace which is differ-
ent from what we call knowing: When the commonplace “We must all
die” transforms itself suddenly into the acute consciousness “I must
die—and soon,” then death grapples us, and his fingers are cruel.

-64-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Facing Death: Theme and Variations
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 7
  • Illustrations 9
  • Acknowledgments 11
  • I - Prelude 15
  • II - Theme- Facing Death 19
  • III - Variations 64
  • IV - Recapitulation 112
  • V - Coda 134
  • VI - Postlude- Participating and Perception 140
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 152

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.