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When life stands before death

Posted November. 25, 2013 05:00,   


The recently launched musical “Ghost” is based on the Hollywood movie “Ghost,” which was released in 1990. Sam who was shot to death by a robber screams, “I am not ready.” Another ghost watching him says, “Everyone says so.” That`s right. How many people will face death when they are fully prepared? Once a person faces death, he finally realizes the significance of the moment he is breathing.

Native Americans believed that even if people die, their sprits still stay around the world. The lyrics of “A Though Winds” composed by Kim Hyo-geun, an economics professor of Ewha Womans University, are an orally transmitted poem reflecting such thought of Native Americans. “Please do not stand at my grave and weep/ I am not there, I do not sleep/ (ellipsis) / I am a thousand winds that blow / I am the sunlight on the ripened grain/ I am the gentle autumn rain (ellipsis).” It is very comforting to believe that our loved ones stay with us in a different form even after death.

French Post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin who had left for Tahiti dreaming of a paradise suffered from disease and poverty. One day, he heard the death of his daughter whom he especially adored. After a failed attempt of suicide that he committed in the midst of great pains, Gauguin decided to paint a picture that would become the work of his lifetime. This is the great work titled “Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?” This long titled work as wide as four meters is overwhelming because it reflects Gauguin’s extreme agony over life and death.

Most of the works by Giuseppe Verdi, a maestro of opera, were tragedies. Nevertheless, his last work Falstaff is a comedy. In the opera, old and fat Falstaff deludes himself he is very attractive and flirts with women in the neighborhood. The opera is composed of pleasant episodes that Falstaff experiences in the process. Verdi might have wanted to say in his last piece of work that life is not a tragedy but a pleasant accident. People may become the most candid when death is nearby.

Business Desk Reporter Sohn Hyo-rim (aryssong@donga.com)