Famous Last Words
September 8, 2014 § Leave a comment
Some of the bravest and most memorable memoir and creative nonfiction were never intended as “literary” or even meant for publication. But the honesty and openness of those who are about to die, saluting a specific or an imagined reader, are powerful on paper.
From Julius and Ethel Rosenberg’s last letter to their sons:
Only this morning it looked like we might be together again after all. Now that his cannot be, I want so much for you to know all that I have come to know.
Unfortunately, I may write only a few simple words; the rest your own lives must teach you, even as mine taught me. At first, of course, you will grieve bitterly for us, but you will not grieve alone. That is our consolation and it must eventually be yours.