"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth", so said Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, most likely behind a cloud of pipe tobacco on a cold day in Edinburgh; for Edinburgh doesn't have much else but cold days of grey.
Doyle was the Scottish author most famous for his stories about the Sherlock Holmes, which are generally considered a major innovation in the field of crime fiction, and for the adventures of Professor Challenger.
Doyle was a prolific writer whose other works include science fiction stories, historical novels, plays and romances, poetry, and non-fiction.
So on this brisk November morning I donned my classic red plaid and went hunting for a quote I'd recalled perfect for a a very close soul of mine. I found the quote and also stumbled upon a story I hadn't been to visit in some time; the suicide of Theresa Duncan.
The quote was from Glenn O'Brien's bittersweet eulogy for Theresa:
Quite probably some of those brilliantly succinct and eloquent words I'd ever come upon. O'Brien, in but maybe five lines, managed to explain the inexplicable with such ease; such grace.
"All I do know, the hard way, is that the artists and writers who come up with extraordinary answers are often deeply and terribly haunted by the questions that prompt them, and you can never second guess what it is to be haunted by ideas, by angels or demons or history or visions, by reality or imagination."
I was startled to see O'Brien's eulogy had been removed and what appeared was a posthumous post from Duncan; a blog entry from the grave?! Posted on Monday, October 29, 2007, entitled "Basil Rathbone's Ghosts", just two days shy of All Hallow's Eve.
There is a mysterious "editors note" after the post which claims:
"Theresa had left this post to appear automatically on this date (another will appear on New Year's Eve)."
Evidently, so sayeth the anonymous shadowy editor of Duncan’s blog, Duncan wrote it back in July…presumably before she died…setting it to automatically post on 29 October.Hrmmmmm. I'm new to this blogging thing, but is that even possible? Time-released capsules of blog? Little time bombs-o-blog? I don't understand. And who is the editor now? O'Brien? Has someone hacked into Theresa's blog? Shall we light the stove again to churn the cauldron of conspiracy that she is still alive and blogging?
Naturally, Dreams End is on the scene. It feels like a reunion from a few months back. A call-back. A cast party.
Why is this "editor" playing cliff hanger with us? Fucking tease.
"Yeah, Duncan has a new post up. Evidently, says anonymous editor of Duncan’s blog, Duncan wrote it back in July…presumably before she died…and set it to automatically post today. At last, then, we get some questions answered. Letters to loved ones. Explanations about the vast conspiracy against her.
Well, actually, all we get is a ghost story about Basil Rathbone.
It’s interesting, however, because the story is about a message being passed from beyond the grave. Her short story, too, published in edition 3 of “Bald Ego” back in 2006, is also about messages from beyond the grave.
Only that story features Harry Houdini, who died on…let’s see…hey! Look a’ there! Houdini died on Halloween!
And to this day, devoted fans still await some word from Houdini from beyond the
But she’s two days early???
Probably all that Tylenol and Bourbon which, according to
the toxicology reports done by the medical examineranonymous sources, is what she was taking for her journey to the great beyond. So she was off by a couple days. Or maybe there’s more coming...
Well, actually, there IS more coming."
Why don’t you just tell us who you are and what’s in the fucking New Year’s letter?!
P.S. - Did Vanity Fair ever run that story?
Got a few hours? Read all my posts on Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake.