Saturday, April 02, 2005


Suppose he did gain immortality. Does he wander the bookstores of the world, fingering the Penguin editions of his plays, looking, bemused, at the Finnish and Uzbek translations? Does he listen for the telltale phrases he put into the language to fall from the lips of strangers, pretty petulant girls or indignant old men? Does he linger to watch people in dusty flats in gray industrial cities, reading about an emerald set in the shining sea?

And does he wander down the aisle to watch a lingering performance of Othello in some art theater, where the notions of honor and reputation, as he knew them, are so long dead that no one even makes fun of them any more? & then tell me, as he crouches there, unseen, to gaze at the face of a weeping playgoer -- can he feel anything but immensely, shatteringly lonely?

Let's hear no more of immortality, as if it were a blessing.

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