(Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910), U.S. author. Originally a response to a newspaper reporter's inquiry about a rumor that Twain was either dead or on his deathbed in London, 1896. Mark Twain's Notebook (1935).
This line has been quoted in various ways, more powerfully, I think, as "The report of my death has been greatly exaggerated." Since it was quoted by the newspapers, it is difficult to know what Twain's exact phrasing was when he invented the line.)
(John Arbuthnot (1667-1735), Scottish writer, physician. Quoted in Robert Carruthers, The Poetical Works of Pope, vol. 1, ch. 3 (1853).
Arbuthnot referred to Edmund Curll, publisher of brief biographies of eminent people following their deaths.)
There's only one reality, Rachel, and that is death. I bring you death. A living death. Are you afraid?... I bring you the darkness of centuries past and centuries to come. Eternal life and eternal death. Now do you fear?
(Pat Fielder. Paul Landres. Dracula (Francis Lederer), The Return of Dracula, in the bedroom of his "cousin," (1958).)
The cruelty of death lies in the fact that it brings the real sorrow of the end, but not the end. The greatest cruelty of death: an apparent end causes a real sorrow. Our salvation is death, but not this one.
(Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Fourth Notebook, February 25, 1918. The Blue Octavo Notebooks, ed. Max Brod, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins. Exact Change, Cambridge, MA (1991). Dearest Father: Stories and Other Writings, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins, New York, Schocken Books (1954).)
For those who live neither with religious consolations about death nor with a sense of death (or of anything else) as natural, death is the obsene mystery, the ultimate affront, the thing that cannot be controlled. It can only be denied.
(Susan Sontag (b. 1933), U.S. essayist. Illness As Metaphor, ch. 7 (1978).)