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Thread: Life and Death

  1. #1
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    Question Life and Death

    Other than Aslan from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, can anyone provide examples of characters in literature who have died and been resurrected? Not looking for near death or incorrectly assumed death, nor reincarnation but characters who died and then came back to life as themselves. Thoughts?

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    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    First thing that pops into my mind is D.H. Lawrence's The Man Who Died. Really good short novel.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
    shortstuff higley's Avatar
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    zombies D:

    Oh but seriously, the only thing I can think of is Butler from the third Artemis Fowl book.
    '...A cast of your skull, sir, until the original is available, would be an ornament to any anthropological museum. It is not my intention to be fulsome, but I confess that I covet your skull.' --Dr. Mortimer, The Hound of the Baskervilles

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    I can't remember if Gandalf technically DIES when he kills the Balrog, but when he comes back he says that he strayed out of thought and time and "Naked I was sent back". Sure sounds like he died and came back.

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    sorry no explanation to that post, I was talking about the "Lord of the Rings" for those not familiar.

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    Two Gun Kid Idril's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catcat24 View Post
    I can't remember if Gandalf technically DIES when he kills the Balrog, but when he comes back he says that he strayed out of thought and time and "Naked I was sent back". Sure sounds like he died and came back.
    That's who I was going to mention as well. That's a difficult one, I do think he really "died" as much as a Maia can die, but being Maia, he's one of the "Powers", the god/angel type beings that watch over Middle-earth and I don't know if their spirits can ever really be extinquished but his body was certainly destroyed. In one of Tolkien's letters he talks at great length about this but the main gist of it is that yes, Gandalf did indeed die, that through his sacrifice he "was accepted, and enhanced, and returned".
    the luminous grass of the prairie hides
    feet lovely and still as sleeping doves,
    porcelain bones strong enough to carry a life,
    but weighty and unmovable
    As black Dakota hills.
    ~ Riesa

  7. #7
    rat in a strange garret Whifflingpin's Avatar
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    What is death?

    Ged & Arran in "The Farthest Shore" by Ursula le Guin?

    Ooojah & Wotsit in the last of Pullman's Dark Materials trilogy?


    .
    Voices mysterious far and near,
    Sound of the wind and sound of the sea,
    Are calling and whispering in my ear,
    Whifflingpin! Why stayest thou here?

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    Jesus Christ -

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    Registered User MDalloway112's Avatar
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    Jesus Christ, indeed.

    Also, I can think of a number of stories/books/epics where a character journeys into the land of the dead or a land beyond mortality, etc. but re-emerges mortal/still alive/reborn. For instance, Gilgamesh.

  10. #10

    Question

    Life and Death seem hardly connected...Can we say Gandalf was dying in a Dimension and at the same time was living in an another Dimension? LOL I think I am totally confused....

  11. #11
    life is but a dream
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    the first thing that came into my head was sydney carto from a tale fo two cities. but it was a metaphorical resurrection.
    I only wanted to live in accord with the promptings that came from my true self. Why was that so very difficult?

  12. #12
    Watcher by Night mtpspur's Avatar
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    Not quite sure about this but I got the impression John Carter 'died' in A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs and Ulyess Paxton in The Master Mind of Mars--as least they are seen viewing their old bodies before their advents to Mars.

  13. #13
    rat in a strange garret Whifflingpin's Avatar
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    The examples given so far do not seem to meet the OP's intention - although a little clarification might be helpful, Bettywalsh.

    Apart from fantasy/myth/science fiction formats, are there examples in literature were a character returns from the dead? (OK, I accept that may instantly put the story into the fantasy section, but, I mean in an otherwise realistic setting.)

    Could such a story work? How could the author handle the experience of death? What would the effect of having died be on the character? Would other people in the story know of the experience, and if so what?

    The difficulty seems well enough expressed in Eliot's "Prufrock," (accepting that he is really talking about something else.)

    "And would it have been worth it, after all,
    After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
    Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
    Would it have been worth while,
    To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
    To have squeezed the universe into a ball
    To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
    To say: “I am Lazarus, come back from the dead,
    Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”--
    If one, settling a pillow by her head,
    Should say: “That is not what I meant at all.
    That is not it, at all.”"

    .
    Voices mysterious far and near,
    Sound of the wind and sound of the sea,
    Are calling and whispering in my ear,
    Whifflingpin! Why stayest thou here?

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    Rebirth

    The Tibetan literature has quite a number of Dalai Lamas that have passed away and were reborn. They could recollect their past lives with quite good accuracy and were supposedly tested and found to be true. If rebirth constitute returning after death (ie the decay of the current body), then these cases of rebirth could add up to quite a number.

  15. #15
    Registered User Leelie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDalloway112 View Post
    Jesus Christ, indeed.
    I don't think Jesus came back "as himself", since nobody could recognize him anymore, etc. It was rather a symbolic resurrection than an actual one.
    Last edited by Leelie; 10-10-2006 at 07:09 AM.

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