10 June, 2008

i love obituaries

and no one writes them better than the english broadsheets.
an excerpt of a fine one, i stumbled into:

When I asked him once what he would like in his obituary, he said: "Mr Crisp thanks the world for letting him stay so long." Quentin Crisp (Dennis Pratt), individualist, born December 25, 1908; died November 21, 1999

at its worst an obituary is just a dull old news article, with a splatter of common place facts and figures. at its best, it's a series of amusing and touching anecdotes bringing alive the character of a formerly significant but possibly later forgotten figure. sometimes it's a question of finding something new, or a new way of showing, the achievements of someone far too-well known, of which everything seemingly has already been said. a good obituary takes years to write. to refine. to update. and when the time comes. it's a fitting and unbanal legacy, one hopes.


Lady V said...

Insist that we spend next week composing our own.

The Stately Homos of England, indeed...

Becky Flash said...

I've just gone through and found my _An American Tragedy_ - which boasts Q's autograph "To Josh from Quentin Crisp". Josh bumped into him going into the building next door to ours and said "Quentin Crisp." "He's MUCH older than me," QC replied before signing the book J happened to have on him that day.

'Monna Google-see what happened to Josh. Not so I can return his book, mind you.