The libertarian novelist, journalist, humorist, and philosopher Robert Anton Wilson died at about 4:50 this morning, Pacific Coast time. As far as I'm aware, the last thing he wrote was this, posted on his blog last Saturday:
Various medical authorities swarm in and out of here predicting I have between two days and two months to live. I think they are guessing. I remain cheerful and unimpressed. I look forward without dogmatic optimism but without dread. I love you all and I deeply implore you to keep the lasagna flying.
Please pardon my levity, I don't see how to take death seriously. It seems absurd.
One of the best things Wilson ever wrote was an essay for The Realist called "13 Choruses for the Divine Marquis." Here's how it ended:
I dreamed I called D.A.F. de Sade on the phone and asked him, "Jesus told me that he and you agree on at least one thing and it explains freedom. What is that one thing?"
"Quite simple," he replied, "don't be afraid of the Cross. The fear of death is the beginning of slavery."
And the line went dead with a triumphant click like a barred door falling open.