Friday, August 31, 2007

A. E. Housman and a Princess Dying Young: Thoughts About Diana

From Greg Morago's interview with me in yestersday's Hartford Courant ...

... A.E. Housman's poem "To an Athlete Dying Young" couldn't have said it better: Dying in your prime is exceptionally stunning.

"There's something incredibly poignant about someone dying at the top of their game, at the peak of their success, whether it's an athlete or a movie star or a princess," said Paul Levinson, chairman of the department of communications and media studies at Fordham University. "As horrible as it sounds, there's something magical about it."

That magic could have something to do with the fact that a celebrity dying young means an adoring public will never have to see them crippled by time. "You will never see them getting older," Levinson said. "It's a way of keeping them young forever."

And free of scandal in an increasingly complicated world. "Once a person is dead, they're safe. They can't disappoint us by doing anything wrong," Levinson said....

And the key lines from A. E. Houseman ... Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut...

See also Anna Nicole, Phil Ochs, and A. E. Housman

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