Ever noticed how in video games the act of saving your progress is mostly represented by your character keeping a journal? Writing is a medium to repel death, to overcome our own mortality.
If I were to die tomorrow, would people remember me? How would they see me?
Cinema, painting, sculpture… all illusions, perhaps all lies. But what if an author decides to pour his/her soul onto paper? Writing has this power to make you immortal, unequaled by any other form of expression. It’s the very proof of your existence, of what you stand for.
Video has yet to reproduce the authenticity a few words can bring. Have you ever felt how words appear more lively than old records? I wonder what sort of sorcery this is.
Writing is not just about conquering death, it’s also about remembering it - memento mori. It’s the act of materializing your will to share it with others. We fear death because we don’t want to miss out, we don’t want to regret. Making sure your legacy is transmitted is a way to prepare death - an art of dying (ars moriendi).
Just like Achilles, we all want to be remembered for who we were. And yet, only a handful of people ever write articles, or a book, or their own biography, or their own testament. I find it absolutely fascinating. Words remain a precious legacy.