Via Literary Kicks, here’s an interview with Michael Largo, author of “Final Exits: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of How We Die“, “Genius and Heroin: The Illustrated Catalogue of Creativity, Obsession, and Reckless Abandon Through the Ages” and “God’s Lunatics: Lost Souls, False Prophets, Martyred Saints, Murderous Cults, Demonic Nuns, and Other Victims of Man’s Eternal Search for the Divine“.
Levi: Looking at your three books together, I see … death, creative self-destruction and religious fanaticism. I have some idea what I think might be the common denominaton between all three, but I’d love to hear what you think the common denominator might be.
Michael: Please tell me what it is. I only know that death is extremely fascinating. A life, a person’s story, cannot be complete without it. It is interesting to write the stories of the dead when knowing the beginning, middle, and end. Thematically, there is a Dylan Thomas rage against the “dying of the light,” but of a brand that requires going to the edge of the cliff, not over it. There is a “Hail Mary Full of Nada” denominator, I imagine, but not so serious. More like being locked in a fun house. By in all, there is this lingering suspicion that life is a meaningless proposition, so what else is there to do but create something that might matter, might be remembered, and if nothing else, at least entertain.