The Valpo Core Reader


Tony Martinelli

Document Type

Life and Death Essay

Publication Date



Writing is a product of the human need to preserve. We save events and emotions, thoughts and theories, facts and fantasies, all of which would otherwise fall victim to the eroding sands of time. To write is to establish a record, a mark on history that is infinitely greater than the actual mark of ink of paper; or rather, writing creates history itself in the sense that much of our knowledge of things long past would be lost. So it is interesting then that we see books that preserve the pain and grief of death within their pages, as such emotions would be easier to simply forget. We see this discussion of death clearly in both The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien and A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis.