the essence of this experience is alone-ness …

… Nuala O’Faolain’s interview with Marian Finucane – on her experience after being diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer … a transcript.

Her friend Nell McCafferty describes the interview as “listening to the cry of an animal in the forest.”

“It amazed me, Marian, how quickly life turned black, immediately almost.

For example, I lived somewhere beautiful, but it means nothing to me anymore — the beauty. For example, twice in my life I have read the whole of Proust. I know it sounds pretentious, but it’s not a bit. It’s like a huge soap opera. But I tried again the week before last and it was gone, all the magic was gone from it.”

On listening to Schubert’s Death and the Maiden … “thanks be to God my heart responded … I came out elated”.

John Waters in Beyond Consolation says she “… went right up to the front door of the truth but did not knock.” (p. 33) His article “Nuala’s despair was the cry of a generation trying to live without belief“.