Marginalia, no.285

The only thing I can think of that distinguishes a man is a death sentence, Mathilde thought: it’s all there is that can’t be bought.

~ Stendhal, The Red and the Black

Death sentences aren’t sold only because we each get one free of charge at the moment of birth. There are ways to move up the date, but this is not recommended. As boys, my brother and I used to joke that dying was the only thing you ever really had to do in life; everything else was purely elective. Funny, I don’t remember us being morbid kids, and neither of us had read ‘Bartleby the Scrivener’ yet.

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