Matthew Dancona

Posthumous glory

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At the risk of trivialising a tragic death, I have been musing over Heath Ledger’s now-posthumous performance as the Joker (see my earlier post as well as this article detailing the potential fate of Ledger's incomplete film projects) and the impact that death can have upon the reception of art, literature and entertainment. Here is my thumbnail list of posthumous precedents. There must be many, many others. Which would Coffee Housers add?

  1. James Dean, uniquely, received posthumous Oscar nominations for both East of Eden and Giant;
  2. Peter Finch’s Oscar win for Network;
  3. Clark Gable in The Misfits;
  4. Oliver Reed in Gladiator;
  5. Bela Lugosi in Plan 9 From Outer Space;
  6. Brandon Lee in The Crow;
  7. Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut;
  8. Charles Dickens: The Mystery of Edwin Drood;
  9. Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey; Persuasion;
  10. Kafka: The Trial; The Castle;
  11. F Scott Fitzgerald: The Last Tycoon;
  12. E.M. Forster: Maurice;
  13. John Kennedy Toole: A Confederacy of Dunces;
  14. Sir Philip Sidney: The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia;
  15. Puccini: Turandot;
  16. Mozart’s Requiem;
  17. Mahler’s 10th; and
  18. Bartok’s Viola Concerto.