Notes from the Death-Cleaning
Part 2: Editing Lincoln
Still cleaning and packing, dear friends…
As mentioned last time, the question I get most about Lincoln in the Bardo is: “Did the Reverend go to Heaven, the second time he tried?”
I always make a detailed argument that the text and our expectation for efficiency argue that yes, likely he did; otherwise, why would “the author” have narrated his attempted rescue of Willie if it was inconsequential?
But here is something more substantial: a chapter I’d totally forgotten I’d written, until I saw it, at which time I went, “Oh, right, you had this big argument with yourself, and decided that it would be more graceful to omit it.”