Saying Goodbye to a Legend: Richard Matheson’s Obituary in the Guardian

artwork and image © Kieran Guckian with CCLicense

artwork and image © Kieran Guckian with CCLicense

American author Richard Matheson passed away on June 23rd at the age of 87. He was famous for many novels, including I am Legend, The Shrinking Man, Hell House, What Dreams May Come, and A Stir of Echoes, all of which were made into films, some more than once, as well as many film and television scripts, such as Steven Spielberg’s Duel, Nightstalker, and the famous Nightmare at 20,OOO Feet episode of the Twilight Zone series, starring William Shatner. Inspired by Dracula to write I am Legend, his meaty and fascinating works have in turn inspired many writers, including Stephen King. This obituary from The Guardian includes a wonderful video of Matheson accepting the award of Vampire Novel of the Century for I am Legend. Synkroniciti is  excited to feature the last final paragraphs of that novel as our Quote for Today. Matheson will be missed, but never forgotten, a prolific and talented writer whose works have been adapted for the screen time after time. 

Quote for Today: Richard Matheson

artwork and image @ Merrick Brown with CCLicense

artwork and image @ Merrick Brown with CCLicense

And suddenly he thought, I’m the abnormal one now. Normalcy was a
majority concept, the standard of many and not the standard of just
one man.

Abruptly that realization joined with what he saw on their faces —
awe, fear, shrinking horror — and he knew that they were afraid of
him. To them he was some terrible scourge they had never seen, a
scourge even worse than the disease they had come to live with. He was
an invisible specter who had left for evidence of his existence the
bloodless bodies of their loved ones. And he understood what they felt
and did not hate them. His right hand tightened on the tiny envelope
of pills. So long as the end did not come with violence, so long as it
did not have to be a butchery before their eyes…

Robert Neville looked out over the new people of the earth. He knew he
did not belong to them; he knew that, like the vampires, he was
anathema and black terror to be destroyed. And, abruptly, the concept
came, amusing to him even in his pain.

A coughing chuckle filled his throat. He turned and leaned against the
wall while he swallowed the pills. Full circle, he thought while the
final lethargy crept into his limbs. Full circle. A new terror born in
death, a new superstition entering the unassailable fortress of
forever.

I am legend.
— Richard Matheson, I am Legend

Grab the Garlic: The Bloody Truth About Serbia’s (Modern) Vampire from National Geographic

© Heather Bauer with CCLicense

© Heather Bauer with CCLicense

I think we’re yearning for something beyond the every day. And I will tell you I don’t believe in the supernatural, I believe in the supernormal. To me there is nothing that goes against nature. If it seems incomprehensible, it’s only because we haven’t been able to understand it yet.

Richard Matheson

Modern man often prides himself on his rationalism, but there are strange things happening everywhere, many of them quite human in origin. The small town of Zarozje, Serbia, issued an edict in November to warn residents that the local vampire, one Sava Savanovic, might be on the prowl because the old mill where he formerly resided has collapsed. Read more about this anachronistic yet fascinating story here.

Supernormal or supernatural, is there really so much difference? I would hate to think that humans could tie up all of their mysteries with time, but I doubt we would ever be able to. Questions always lead to more questions and understanding is elusive.