NABOKV-L post 0005827, Sat, 17 Mar 2001 11:26:40 -0800

Speak, Malcolm
From: Malcolm Reynolds <>

A minuscule observation perhaps tying in with influences on VN's

"Death: It's What Ails You" by Arthur Krystal. (Harper's, Feb., 2001)

The author quotes Carlyle about our lives: "a little gleam of time
between two eternities." And also William Hazlitt: "There was a time
when we were not: this gives us no concern---why then should it trouble
us that a time will come when we will cease to be?"

And the lovely opening of "Speak, Memory": "The cradle rocks above an
abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a brief crack
of light between two eternities of darkness."

Similar? Yes. But then our thoughts about death may lead to similar
conclusions if not similar ways of stating them. Krystal is angry that
he must die. If one cannot accept the idea of an afterlife or that
consciousness goes on beyond the physical, then I can understand his
anger. VN clawed at the "prison of time" to find a gleam from beyond.
I honor his search. I've read tons of material from the Bible to Cayce
to the Seth Material, but finding an author of such brilliance who
brought humor and metaphysics into his writing has made VN my favorite
of all time---either here or hopefully hereafter.

After all, we're all headed toward that moment at some forty-five
hundred heartbeats an hour---a bit more in my case.