This is the first of a series of posts on Tolstoy's long story, "The Death of Ivan Ilyich," taken from the lecture notes of U.R. Bowie.
Introduction to Notes on “The Death of Ivan Ilyich”
Cogitations on human mortality:
There are no new thoughts on death; like thoughts about everything else in the human condition, they’ve all been thought before.
AS. SOONE. AS. WEE. TO BEE. BEGVNNE: WE DID BEGINNE. TO. BE. VNDONE.
English memento mori medal, c. 1650
So death, the most terrifying of ills, is nothing to us, since so long as we exist, death is not with us; but when death comes, then we do not exist. It does not then concern either the living or the dead, since for the former it is not, and the latter are no more.
Epicurus (341-270 BC)
Bronchitis and death—just two of nature’s ways of telling us to slow down.
R. Beauvais, Jan., 1990