All posts tagged: long dialogue

Love and death in the archives

Love and death in the archives

Atlantic writers meditate on the twin drives of eros and thanatos. Illustration by Matteo Giuseppe Pani. Source: Getty. February 15, 2024, 1:02 PM ET This is an edition of Time-Travel Thursdays, a journey through The Atlantic’s archives to contextualize the present and surface delightful treasures. Sign up here. When I think of death, I think of love. I am convinced that I’m not alone in this. The dying seem driven to meditate on love, and love suffuses the scene of an ideal death: lying in bed surrounded by family, reassured by the promise of enduring affection. Unsurprisingly, The Atlantic has featured numerous writings on love and death over its lifetime. Only three years after the magazine’s founding, Louisa May Alcott published a short story in which a wife’s suicide attempt catalyzes her husband’s transformation from a self-absorbed recluse to a sincere and adoring lover. The near-death occasion serves as a sort of warning of mortality, putting the story’s narrator in mind of the centrality of love. In 1882, the magazine featured “Love and Death,” a …