diary / by Edward Mullany


In college I read The Death of Ivan Ilyich for a course in which it was assigned by a professor who made the remark, when she was paging through the syllabus with all of us students, on the first day of the semester, so that we’d seen the title of this work where it was printed, beside the dates by which we’d need to have it finished, that even though we could guess what would happen to the main character, without reading the story, based on what the author had chosen to call it, it was still worth reading, as its importance lay not in the fact that Ivan Ilyich died, for that fate awaited everyone, whether we appeared in a novel or not, but rather in how he died, or what could be said of the life that he lived before he died, which is what I remember now, whenever I see a copy of the book in a bookstore, or on a shelf in someone’s apartment, though this professor also said other things, all of them insightful, when, later in the term, she spent a couple of classes lecturing on it.