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2ser Breakfast

Taylor, Cory, , author. You have to make the magnetic field so strong that it imposes its own order and holds the world of the screenplay in its tense, suspenseful grip. In fiction, you can sometimes be looser and less tidy, but for much of the time you are choosing what to exclude from your fictional world in order to make it hold the line against chaos. And I am making dying bearable for myself. Yes, I have considered suicide, and it remains a constant temptation. If the law in Australia permitted assisted dying I would be putting plans into place right now to take my own life.

Tuesday Book Club: “Dying: A Memoir” by the late Cory Taylor

I imagine there would be copious tears. There would be music playing in the background, something from the soundtrack of my youth.

Nor can I fathom why this kind of humane and dignified death is outlawed. No, it would not be breaking the law to go out on my own. The newspapers are full of options—hanging, falling from a great height, leaping in front of a speeding train, drowning, blowing myself up, setting myself on fire—but none of them really appeals to me. When you analyze all the possible scenarios for suicide, none is pretty. Which is the reason I support the arguments in favor of assisted dying, because, to misquote Churchill, it is the worst method of dying, except for all the others.

One of my problems with religion has always been the idea that the righteous are saved and the rest are condemned. I had no religious instruction growing up. I knew a few Bible stories from a brief period of attendance at Sunday school, but these seemed on a level with fairy tales, if less interesting. Their sanctimoniousness put me off. I preferred the darker tones of the Brothers Grimm, who presented a world where there was no redemption, where bad things happened for no reason, and nobody was punished. Even now I prefer that view of reality.

Cancer strikes at random. The survival of the species relies on constant renewal, each generation making way for the next, not with any improvement in mind but in the interests of plain endurance. When I was first diagnosed, I was terrified.

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Dying: a memoir – Cory Taylor

I had no idea that the body could turn against itself and incubate its own enemy. I had never been seriously ill in my life before; now, suddenly, I was face to face with my own mortality. There was a moment when I saw my body in the mirror as if for the first time. Overnight my own flesh had become alien to me, the saboteur of all my hopes and dreams. It was incomprehensible, and so frightening I cried.


  • Jahrbuch Medienpädagogik 6: Medienpädagogik - Standortbestimmung einer erziehungswissenschaftlichen Disziplin (German Edition);
  • A breathtaking book about vulnerability and strength, courage and humility, anger and acceptance.!
  • Dying: a Memoir;
  • Miroir Velazquez (French Edition).

It has become ordinary and unremarkable, something everybody, without exception, does at one time or another. No, there is nothing good about dying. It is sad beyond belief. But it is part of life, and there is no escaping it. Once you grasp that fact, good things can result. I went through most of my life believing death was something that happened to other people. At least that is one explanation for why it took me so long to write my first novel.

The Memoir That Broke My Heart

There were others. I had been trying to write the story of my parents for years, making character notes, outlining plots, embarking on one false start after another. But again and again I failed to breathe life into the thing, constrained by the fact that my parents were still alive to read what I had written. I could say what I liked about them without hurting their feelings.

And once I knew that my own death was looming, I could no longer make any excuses. It was now or never. It was a feeling like no other, in late , to hold a copy of my first novel in my hand. It seemed so brazen to have made an object that took up room in the world. I knew what Highsmith meant. Now, I thought, I can die happy. Yes, I have regrets, but as soon as you start rewriting your past you realize how your failures and mistakes are what define you. As it was, I seemed to stumble around, making life up as I went along. Looking back, I can make some sense of it, but at the time my life was all very makeshift and provisional, more dependent on luck than on planning or intent.

I was twenty-two. I had a standing invitation from my cousin and his wife to visit them in Paris, so I emptied my bank account and bought a ticket. I remember standing on the deck of the ferry leaving Folkestone one blustery November afternoon and thinking that my life had just begun, that this was the start of my great adventure.

My cousin met me on Rue Mouffetard, and I followed him around while he bought the ingredients for dinner.

My son was almost due. What would I call him?

So many cheeses, wines, pastries, charcuterie. So much seafood, all so fresh it gleamed. And so much beauty, in the passing faces, in the sensual language, in the storybook houses winding down the hill. I could barely breathe for happiness. My cousin taught English, or I suppose there were au-pair agencies I might have telephoned. I spoke bad French, but I could have learned the language. The problem with reverie is that you always assume you know how the unlived life turns out.

The other life is more significant and more purposeful. It is impossibly free of setbacks and mishaps. This split between the dream and the reality can be the cause of intense dissatisfaction at times.

Notes from a Baby-Names Obsessive

But I am no longer plagued by restlessness. To envy the life of the alternative me, the one who stayed in Paris, seems like the purest kind of folly. Dust to dust, ashes to ashes sums it up for me.


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We come from nothingness and return to nothingness when we die.