The Top Five Authors Whose Graves I Have Visited (In No Particular Order)
Back in the ancient history of last May, I wrote up a post talking about traditions surrounding famous authors’ graves. I’m beginning now to think about summing up the year 2013 for myself, and to take some stock of where I am and what I have done as a person. And, as always, I am thinking about selling some books to some people.
Therefore, it is time for a list of the Top Five Authors Whose Graves I Have Visited (In No Particular Order).
1. Pablo Neruda
In 2007, I traveled to Chile with a group of classmates from DePaul University. One of the most special days was spent at Isla Negra, Pablo Neruda’s beautiful estate. It is a fitting burial place for someone whose works are so gorgeous. Get an edition which includes each poem in both Spanish and English!
2. Douglas Adams
Douglas Adams is buried in Highgate Cemetery, located in North London. Highgate is gorgeous. Half of the cemetery is so old that nature has reclaimed it, and it is an official preserve. The other half is still a working cemetery, and that is where you will find Douglas Adams. He gravestone is simple and elegant. “Writer.” Fans frequently leave bouquets of pens or little toys by his grave— though I didn’t see any towels while I was there. Hitchhiker’s Guide is definitely high on my list of books that every single human being should read in their lifetime.
3. William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare is buried in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-Upon-Avon. “Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbear / to dig the dust enclosed here. / Blessed be the man who spares these stones / and cursed be he that moves my bones.” Perfect. I don’t need to recommend to anyone that they read Shakespeare… but. Read Shakespeare.
4. Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde’s grave is just unbelievable. It is a massive tomb that is carved into a massive flying Sphinx. Visitors leave kisses on the stone as a tribute; a glass wall has recently been erected to protect the stone, and so now visitors kiss the glass instead. Wilde, I think, would have been pleased. I love all of Wilde’s work, but I will never forget the first time I saw down and really read The Ballad of Reading Gaol.
5. Karl Marx
When I saw Karl Marx’s grave, I burst out laughing. I did not expect it. It is located in Highgate Cemetery, not far from Douglas Adams’, and I like to think of just what Adams’ would have had to say about it. Marx probably didn’t want a tomb as ostentatious as this; it was erected by the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1954. Still, you’ll get a kick out of reading the Communist Manifesto while keeping this tomb in mind.