One of my favourite literary genres, and in my view one of the most under-appreciated and misunderstood, is the obituary. Speaking of literature … it was a premature French obituary of 1888 which perhaps led Alfred Nobel to establish the Nobel Peace Prize. How painfully aware of his public relations problem he must have become, regarding himself in an obituarist’s rendering as “the merchant of death” and seeing his life’s work summarized thusly: he “became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before.” Continue reading
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