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Old 03-16-2010, 02:10 AM
Jyminee Jyminee is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 105
Default The New Heaven

The discussion of boredom as an objection to immortality immediately made me think of a very good book I recently read, Julian Barnes's "A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters."

In the final story (spoilers!) the narrator dies and goes to "the New Heaven," which, unlike the old heaven, is a lot like life on Earth, but you live forever and can get whatever you desire. So the narrator eats the greatest meal of his life every day, can sleep with a different woman every night, and eventually spends his time perfecting his skills in various ways, like practicing golf so much that, over centuries of time, he can hit an 18 on every course.

He has a kind of heavenly "case manager" who helps him along the way, and she tells him that everyone without fail eventually asks to "die" again and cease to exist in the new heaven, because it gets repetitive and meaningless. Although the narrator resists this idea, he eventually gives in:

"It seems to me," I went on, "that Heaven's a very good idea, it's a perfect idea you could say, but not for us. Not given the way we are."
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