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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Words: Flies in Amber, Corpses in Ice



People disappear when they die. Their voice, their laughter, the warmth of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living memory of them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continue to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humor, their tone of voice, their moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy. They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this, even though they are dead. Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is, by the miracle of ink on paper, preserved. It is a kind of magic.

-Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale


I want my stories to outlive me. It's one of the reasons I will get published, so something remains of me even after I'm gone. People may forget about me, but a hundred years from now I hope someone can pick my book off the shelf and read what I wrote.

What about you? Will your words outlive you?

14 comments:

Stephanie McGee said...

I hope so.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Stephanie- Me too! I want my book in the Library of Congress!

VICTORIA SAAVEDRA said...

I sure hope so.

Nicole MacDonald said...

Ditto the others, I certainly hope so :)

Piedmont Writer said...

Isn't this why we really write. So we leave something in this world of our own behind. (Besides our children.)

Amalia T. said...

who doesn't!

Maybe it is the Scandinavian in my soul, but having a name that outlives me would be kind of awesome. I just want to keep touching peoples lives, you know? Keep reminding people there is more to it than they think!

Jenna Wallace said...

Oh, absolutely. To think that decades from now, someone will quote a line from my book... that's why we do it.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I love, love, love that quote, Stephanie!! Wow. And yes, that would be wonderful.

You've been tagged! You know I like to share the fun with you. Ha ha ha. :-)

Valerie Geary said...

Not to ruin the mood here... what if there's an apocalypse and all our books burn!!? Just saying.... :D Also... sometimes I would like to outlive my words, then I remember how boring immortality would be. So yes... after all that rambling... I'll let my words outlive me.

Mark Noce said...

However, as Marcus Aurelius points out, everything lasts but a short while. Eventually, even the words of Homer will be lost and so shall ours. But for a time at least we can spread goodness and love to those in person and perhaps for a little while after we're gone our books can do the same:)

Caroline Tung Richmond said...

Well, my book is DEFINITELY going to outlive me!

Haha. Total wishful thinking on my part. :o)

It makes me sad to think about all of the books that go out of print. If I ever get published and if this ever happens to me, I think I'd cry a lot...

VR Barkowski said...

I wasn't a huge fan of THE THIRTEENTH TALE, but this marvelous quote makes me want to read it again. Believe it or not, I've never thought about what would happen after I'm gone. But yes, it would be wonderful to have my words live on.

VR Barkowski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amanda Sablan said...

The idea that my words may outlive me is almost too awesome for words.