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#WordWeek: Famous Last Words

In this column, we consider poignant quotations from our cultural heroes

Joan Crawford in Mildred Pierce (1945)
Joan Crawford in Mildred Pierce (1945) Courtesy of Warner Bros

As #WordWeek draws to a close, we look to the final words of our icons for respite

It seems unfathomable to consider uttering one’s last words; to conclude the convoluted tapestry of life on a solitary thread. Like the final full-stop of a cherished novel, there is a sombre permanence to contemplating those closing syllables. Yet, against the inevitable and unyielding decay of time, our final sentiments stand as immortal. Through these aleatory words, we are preserved.

As #WordWeek draws to a close on Anothermag.com, we look to the final words of our icons for respite. Some may be nothing more than prosaic myth, however each one stems from raw, human emotions; be they thoughts of resignation, contentment or, in some cases, even humour. Words are their legacy. Thus, while life may be bound to the limitations of mortality, our words are truly eternal.

"I’m bored with it all" – Winston Churchill

"Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven't said enough." – Karl Marx

"Don’t you dare ask God to help me." – Joan Crawford

"Don’t you dare ask God to help me." – Joan Crawford

"My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go." – Oscar Wilde

"Die, my dear? Why, that’s the last thing I’ll do!" – Groucho Marx

"Too bad! Too bad! It’s too late!" – Ludwig van Beethoven

"I do not believe in my death." – Salvador Dali

"I hope I haven’t bored you." – Elvis

Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca (1942)
Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca (1942) Courtesy of Warner Bros
"I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis." – Humphrey Bogart

"Tell them, I’ve had a wonderful life."– Ludwig Wittgenstein

"Now I can cross the Shifting Sands." – L. Frank Baum (author of The Wizard of Oz)

"This is no time to make new enemies." – Voltaire

"Nothing but death." – Jane Austen

"I can’t sleep." – J. M. Barrie

"Goodnight." – Lord Byron

"I have been a most unconscionable time dying, but I beg you to excuse it." – Charles II

"I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis." – Humphrey Bogart

"Drink to me." – Pablo Picasso

"One world at a time." – Henry David Thoreau

"Cré nom!" (tr. Holy name!) – Charles Baudelaire

Josephine Baker in Princesse Tam-Tam (1935)
Josephine Baker in Princesse Tam-Tam (1935) Courtesy of Productions Arys
"Oh, you young people act like old men. You are no fun." – Josephine Baker

"I am about to – or I am going to – die. Either expression is correct." – Dominique Bouhours

"Even in the valley of the shadow of death, two and two do not make six." – Leo Tolstoy

"So the heart be right, it is no matter which way the head lieth." – Sir Walter Raleigh

Text by Abigail Gurney-Read

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