Sunday, 15 January 2017


Again I wonder about the value of detailed fictional accounts of a hereafter. Or are they fictional? We might differentiate four kinds of accounts:

(i) ghost stories or other fictional works in which survival is a mere fantasy premise;

(ii) works in which, although the author does believe that there is a hereafter, he does not claim to know any of the details and therefore must invent such details for fictional or allegorical purposes, e.g., CS Lewis' The Great Divorce and The Last Battle;

(iii) works of fiction set within what the author believes is the real hereafter, e.g., Richard Matheson's What Dreams May Come; Arthur Conan Doyle's The Land Of Mist; some passages in Aldous Huxley's Time Must Have A Stop;

(iv) works that simply describe the alleged hereafter, e.g., the Tibetan Book of the Dead.

In which category is Dante's Comedy? Alan Moore's Jerusalem is somewhere between (ii) and (iii), I think.

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