Death and flight
I was recently spending the in-between-flight time in the Wien airport looking through the (very) small English section of a book shop. My German is close to non-existing in terms of reading abilities, so I was going very fast across the English books, newspapers and finally magazines sections.
I first flipped the pages of some design magazine. Interesting, but not enough to get me through a late-night flight. I picked and put back probably more than 10 items before I found “New Philosopher”. Due to the way it was displayed I could only read the name and the small print above it “Are you ready for death?” but could not see the rest of the cover. I though the question on top is a slogan of the magazine or something of the sort so instead of reading the cover I directly flipped the pages to look at the content.
It was full of illustrations of dead individuals, skeletons, death rituals etc. The text was easy to read so I closed it and then saw the title: Live and let die. My knowledge of the “death” topic is limited. For the very little information I do have I owe a big “thank you” to Gabriel Balanescu for having introduced me to the stories of the Toraja people and their rituals pertaining to death, in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. I used this reference to convince myself the information in this edition of the New Philosopher should be ok for reading.
I found the situation way to amusing not to lean into it. Challenge accepted! I read about death for the entire duration of the flight.
I liked the content of this issue. It’s written in an easy-to-read and easy-to-comprehend style. Although the topic was out of my usual reach, the language and the phrasing were simple and expressive. I liked it so much that I subscribed to the digital version. This is where I ran out of enthusiasm. On the website I just keep turning in circles. I haven’t yet figured out how to access my library (the content I’ve bought) from my account. For the time being, I must use the link and password supplied via email.
Overall: amusing combination between the content and the context where I crossed it, even if the later digital experience turned out to be not so smooth. Looking forward to the next issue. Nice reading, and the website does include some articles and segments of articles. I haven’t explored the video section yet. The discovery process is undergoing.