Famous Last Words Introduction

About some famous last words, an introduction giving the thoughts of Walt Whitman and Karl Marx on the subject.

Famous Last Words

Walt Whitman said, "Last words are not samples of the best, which involve vitality at its full, and balance, and perfect control and scope. But they are valuable beyond measure to confirm and endorse the varied train, facts, theories and faith of the whole preceding life."

Karl Marx, however, had a different opinion. Michael Hastings--in Tussy Is Me, his biographical novel about Eleanor Marx, the youngest daughter of Karl Marx--relates a conversation which took place between Marx and his housekeeper, Helen, on the day that Marx died:

"Tell me your last words, Karl--I'll write them down."

"You can hardly spell your own name!"

"Your last word to all mankind, Mohr--?"

"I haven't got one--"

"Your dying breath, Mohr; so I can put it in all those big fat books--like, 'words on their deathbeds the great men said'--come along Karl--think!"

"Go on, get out--last words are for fools who haven't said enough."

Fortunately, not everyone agreed with Karl Marx. . . .

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