The Last Reader

I used the word “fear” for a reason.

Again with a commendable forthrightness.

Fears always have a reason, unless they don’t.

I fear using the word “fear” always have a reason, even by chance. For instance, in an old podcast from her delightful The Signal, the suave Laurie Brown is telling this story about Julian Barnes, who, in Nothing to be Afraid Of, is tempted to speak to his very last reader:

Well-known writers are able to transcend death because their works live on—at least that’s what we are told. Barnes himself takes some comfort in this fact, until he realizes that eventually there will come a time when his books have their last reader. As he mulls this over, he considers thanking this final fan. “But then, logic kicked in,” he writes. “Your last reader is, by definition, someone who doesn’t recommend your books to anyone else. You bastard! Not good enough, eh?” And then he proceeds to shout some obscenities at this unsuspecting future bibliophile.

I thought these dangling propositions were forbidden. Perhaps there’s always be something dangling. Deaths dans taxes, at the very least.