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The Philodoxer
Thoughts on writing and publishing, and the various sources of entertainment...
A weekly column by Abel G. Peña, best known for his Star Wars work.

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THE PHILODOXER for 10/15/2006
Trick Or Treat: Dying Words

May your obituary be written in weasel's piss. -- Old Irish curse

Weird Wills

If you dig a little of the macabre, then here's just the thing! Weird Wills & Eccentric Last Wishes is a cool pocket-sized tome, compiled by Michelle Lovric, collecting some of the strangest, funniest, and most thought-provoking last words from a kaleidoscope of representatives throughout our short human history.

There are bewildering declarations, such as that of Leonardo da Vinci who lamented, "I have offended God, because my work did not achieve the quality it should have," and examples of courageous wit, such as American publisher E.W. Scripps' conclusion, "Too many cigars this evening, I guess."

With fitting subheadings like "Wild & Whimsical" and "Last-Minute Philosophers" sorting out the quotations, Weird Wills & Eccentric Last Wishes is one of those books I routinely comeback to. Always accommodating my mood of the moment, whether sad, introspective, or cheeky, I find the small volume a compendium of some of the finest wit and wisdom available. For it supplies no single profound revelation, but a duplication of the familiar spectrum of man's emotional experience -- his anger, bravery, confusion, and quirkiness -- all pronounced on the brink of his most humiliating moment.

Is this dying? Is this all? Is this all I feared when I prayed against a hard death? Oh, hear this! I can bear it! I am going to where all tears will be wiped from my eyes. -- Cotton Mather, English-American writer, 1663-1728

-- Abel

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Discuss this column with me in World Famous Comics' General Forum and at Pop Culture Bored.
Also, visit my website at www.abelgpena.com.


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