|Flowers in Munson Park|
Some people can write. I mean, really write. I just finished reading chapter one of Victor Brombert's Musings on Mortality: From Tolstoy to Primo Levi. (Ch. 1 - "Tolstoy: 'Caius Is Mortal'") Brombert can write.
His words and sentences are wise and moving and heart-expanding as he tours us on a path of dying and apocalypse. I've never read The Death of Ivan Ilyich. Brombert made me buy it tonight. What coolness to feast at this literary banquet table. And think of the revelation of death. And the power of writing.
"The crucial question for Tolstoy is how we face this revelation, what it tells us about the way we have lived. Ivan Ilych learns— the lesson may come too late— that emptiness, self-deception, and false values have been at the core of his life, that in the process of living we all deny the truth of our human condition, that we lie to ourselves when we pretend to forget about death, and that this lie is intimately bound up with all the other lies that vitiate our moral being. It is a denunciation of a spiritual void." (Brombert, Musings on Mortality, Kindle Locations 251-254)