steamroller

Destroy My Unfinished Works

“There goes the browsing history.”

On August 25, Rob Wilkins, friend of late author Terry Pratchett and manager of the author’s estate, followed his friend’s posthumous directions by putting the hard drive with Pratchett’s unfinished docs under a steamroller.

Stuart Kelly considers whether such wishes should be honored. For instance, Virgil asked for the Aeneid to be burned after his death, and the king refused to allow it (via Prufrock News).

One could no doubt elaborate on the “broken” hexameters of the poem – something I was taught during schoolboy Latin – but the question that interests me is whether having an imperfect Aeneid is better than having no Aeneid at all. Of course, not having it would mean not knowing what we might have had; but there must have been an ethical tangle when Rufus and Tucca went against what they knew the author had wanted.

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