Death and the Sea
July 24, 2010 8:08 AM   Subscribe

Obituaries editors probably belong by the sea. The cries of seagulls are their music, fading into infinity, and the light-filled sky bursts open like a gateway out of the world. The elderly gravitate there, shuffling in cheerful pairs along Marine Parade or jogging in slow motion past the Sea Gull Café, intent on some distant goal. Their skin is weathered and tanned, as if they have fossilised themselves in ozone to keep death at bay. They wear bright trainers, young clothes. But they have shifted to the shore here, or in Bexhill, or in Eastbourne, as if to the edge of life, and each flapping deck-chair reserves a waiting-place.
Ann Wroe, obituaries editor of The Economist, muses on mortality and the sea in the latest correspondent's diary, a series of articles by various Economist writers. You can read the magazine's obituaries here, including a recent one of former obituaries editor Keith Colquhoun. [Ann Wroe previously]
posted by Kattullus (8 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Ann Wroe's previous correspondent's diary can be read here [Facebook link]
posted by Kattullus at 8:10 AM on July 24, 2010

That was lovely, thanks! Will have to carve time out to explore the other diaries.
posted by everichon at 11:07 AM on July 24, 2010

Also, I wish I could deploy "yobbish" occasionally, here in the US.
posted by everichon at 11:18 AM on July 24, 2010

I had read the main links but actually enjoyed that correspondent's diary link much more. Thank you!
posted by Jorus at 11:32 AM on July 24, 2010

From Colquhoun: "Hunting around for something not too brutal to say about Tiny Rowland now that he is dead, those who knew him have remarked on his charm. The English language is helpful with the evasive word."
posted by Xurando at 12:44 PM on July 24, 2010

All of these are utterly wonderful. Thank you! (I often feel a twinge of weird guilt at enjoying obituaries so much, the same way I feel about the In Memoriam segment of the Oscars.)
posted by punchdrunkhistory at 1:42 PM on July 24, 2010

I remember one obit in the Economist within the past year or so, about a fellow who was famous as a typewriter repairman. The tribute was witty but not condescending and quite a great piece of writing.

The other I remember was of a famous fish, again sometime within the past year....
posted by storybored at 6:54 PM on July 24, 2010

[this is good]
posted by .kobayashi. at 10:25 AM on July 26, 2010

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