with mother finally *****, and the last fantastic book flung out of the tenement window, and the last door closed at 4 A.M. and the last telephone slammed at the wall in reply and the last furnished room emptied down to the last piece of mental furniture, a yellow paper rose twisted on a wire hanger in the closet, and even that imaginary, nothing but a hopeful little bit of hallucination —
Allen Ginsberg, from Howl: for Carl Solomon.
What is it like to die, she wonders, what is it like to be dead? Is it like anything? Like being under an anaesthetic, perhaps, with the forgetful anaesthetist gone home and all the lights in the operating theatre turned off and the doors locked and the last squeaky footsteps fallen silent down all the long corridors.
John Banville, from The Infinities.
Still from Amour (2012).