"The following day, no one died," begins Death with Interruptions, and
the rest of the novel scrambles to catch up to this extraordinary new reality.
Before the first deathless day is out, the cardinal calls the prime minister to
upbraid him for celebrating the body's new immortality. The end of death means,
after all, the end of the Church, "since this was clearly the only agricultural
implement god possessed with which to plough the roads that would lead to his
kingdom." What will the state do if death does not return, asks the
cardinal. What will the Church do, asks the prime minister in kind. The cardinal
answers smoothly, "The church has never been asked to explain anything, our
specialty, along with ballistics, has always been the neutralization of the
overly curious mind through faith." Death's disappearance reveals the
struts propping up the everyday world.
*For an explanation of panopticons, see the sidebar to The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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