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Whether Goethe truly cried "More light!" on his deathbed, or even if Conrad Hilton looked at of this international after uttering "Leave the bathe curtain at the inside the tub," final phrases, despite authenticity, have lengthy captured the mind's eye of Western society. during this playfully severe research in response to authentic money owed, anecdotes, literary works, and movies, Karl Guthke explores the cultural value of these phrases spoken on the border among this international and the following. The go out strains of either recognized and traditional humans embrace for us a feeling of drama and truthfulness and exhibit a lot approximately our options on residing and death. Why this curiosity in final phrases? offering statements from such figures as Socrates, Nathan Hale, Marie Antoinette, and Oscar Wilde ("I am demise as i've got lived, past my means"), Guthke examines our fascination when it comes to our want for closure, our hope for immortality, and our appeal to the mystique of loss of life scenes. the writer considers either actual and invented ultimate statements as he appears to be like on the formation of symbols and legends and their functionality in our tradition. final phrases, passed down from new release to new release like cultural heirlooms, have a great opportunity of surviving in our collective reminiscence. they're proven to epitomize a existence, express a feeling of irony, or play to an viewers, as with regards to the assassinated Mexican innovative Pancho Villa, who's stated to have died imploring newshounds: "Don't enable it finish like this. inform them I acknowledged something."

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