The death question . . .

Not for attribution

A friend concerned about the noncommercial aspects of Blithe Spirit (my spare-time mixtum-gatherum newsletter of the late ’90s, early 2000s) asked if I had gotten any work from it, meaning corporate work, which pays more than work for publication in most cases.

(You should read Ben Jonson’s correspondence with his lordly patrons. “Drink to me only with thine eyes,” he told Celia, but he still had to live.)

No work from it, I said, and my friend wondered what people will say when they bury me, implying they would not say much if I’d gotten no assignments from it.

Actually, it will little affect me one way or the other at that point, which he surely realizes, but like most people insufficiently. Indeed, even if by slip of lip, it’s strange to speak of point-of-death achievement in terms of work for hire. I love work for hire, but Blithe…

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