How do I know there is no afterlife? Because the inmates of paradise do not read. The promise of afterlife is the promise of transcending the knowledge of good and evil and of death that Adam and Eve brought into the world thanks to their disobedience of God in Eden. It is the promise of utter fulfillment, eternal bliss, uninterrupted pleasure. Eternal life eliminates knowledge, good and evil, death, and disobedience. Therefore, it eliminates reading. No Dostoevsky. No Shakespeare. No Racine. No Baudelaire, Whitman, Mallarmé. No Divine Comedy! No Iliad, no Odyssey, no Aeneid. No Aeschylus. No Sophocles. No Montaigne, Pascal, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche. No Goethe, Wordsworth, Dickinson, Keats, Rimbaud. No Hurston, Faulkner, Ellison, Morrison, Roth. The pearly gates open and Saint Peter, even as popes are still chanting and imbibing over his bones in the Basilica, rips the books from your arms and douses you with some celestial narcotic that leaves you to come unceasingly before the image of God, blinding your eyes to prose and poetry. How frightful, how destitute, how horrifying, to be bereft of books for all eternity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *