Zeno’s Conscience: quotes (8)

One evening he asked me: “Do you think everything stops when we’re dead?”

The mystery of death is something I think about every day, but I was not yet in a position to give him the information he was asking of me. To please him, I invented the happiest faith in our future.

“I believe pleasure survives, because sorrow is no longer necessary. Decomposition could recall sexual pleasure. Certainly it will be accompanied by happiness and repose, since recomposition would be so toilsome. Decomposition should be the reward of life!”

I was a total failure. We were at table after supper. Without answering, he rose from his chair, drained another glass, and said, “This is no moment for philosophizing – least of all, with you!”