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Eisenberg joined Rockefeller University in and later became a director of its electronics laboratory. Early in his tenure at Rockefeller, he helped develop a transistorized, battery-operated cardiac pacemaker , which was considered a vast improvement over the wire-laden earlier models. He taught at the university until As a science-fiction writer, Dr.

He was also known for his stories featuring Prof.

- The Washington Post

Emmett Duckworth, an amiably hapless Nobel Prize-winning scientist. In addition to his daughter, he is survived by a sister, Sondra Baskin; a son, Michael Eisenberg; and a grandson. Eisenberg at his death resided in Somerville, Mass. He died at a hospice facility in Lincoln, Mass. In a feature, Dr. Eisenberg was asked by The 6th Floor , a Times Magazine blog, to supply a brief biographical summary for readers.

He replied — a mere 20 minutes later — in the form he knew best:.

How People Disappear

Larry Eisenberg, whom we well know, Has died and his age is below. I guess, for him, Lviv was whatever he made of it in his head. Like me, for many years my brother lived away from Lviv. Mostly in the Netherlands, but, for some reason, the obituaries said that he had lived in Belgium. It only takes the first reporter to make a mistake for all the others to reprint it. Fact-checking did not seem to be terribly important for these obituary writers, so they moved my brother from the Netherlands to Belgium. To most people reading those obituaries, Belgium or the Netherlands stood for the same thing: the West, prosperous life, no war, no need to go to war.

Western Europe was a perfect setting for the third paragraph, the one about the heroic decision to go to the front.

Mark Twain Didn't Say That Thing About Obituaries

You need to have something to leave behind in order for your decision to join the army to be heroic: if you have nothing important to leave - little kids, a fancy job, a cosy life in western Europe - then you have nothing to lose. You may as well go to the front.

  1. Site Index.
  2. Rick Stein?
  3. The Maid of Llanwellyn?
  4. What's an Obituary For?;
  5. Death Notices!
  6. She Painted Portraits of ‘Overlooked’ Women. Then She Made a Dress..
  7. Nothing heroic about that. Although he had a good job abroad, he was not afraid to return to his Motherland and go to fight in the East as soon as he could. Because every one of us should take responsibility for the future of our country. Now, pathos aside, this would be a fitting paragraph for an obituary.

    The only problem with it was that almost none of it is accurate. He visited the UK twice. Few immigrants do.

    He might have done if he had still been living abroad when the war started, but he had come back a few years earlier. Why do many immigrants come back? Because they get fed up with the life of an immigrant. Because, for many of them, nothing holds them abroad. Because while they are away, they imagine the country of their youth to be exactly what they want it to be, regardless of what it actually is. Because of millions of very ordinary reasons that have nothing to do with defence of the homeland or heroism.

    He thought about his decision for some time - which is only a reasonable thing to do when the decision has a potentially lethal outcome - and, eventually, signed up for the frontline voluntarily. He put his old army uniform on - the one he wore when he served as a conscript in the s and kept as a souvenir - turned up to the local military office, from which he had been drafted as a young man, and reported that he wished to go to the frontline.

    I learned all this from the people in the military office much later. My brother seemed to have made quite an impression on them: they all remembered this scene and relayed it to my mother and me enthusiastically when we came to collect a medal for courage that he had been awarded posthumously.

    A Ukrainian obituary

    So, there you have it: one short paragraph and at least four inaccuracies. The obituaries painted a very unambiguous picture of a successful man in his prime who dropped everything and rushed to give up his life for his native land. I guess I should have felt proud reading it. He was and he did. Oh yes, the template. There is often some room for the description of heroic death.

    The thing is, there is often little that is heroic about dying at the frontline. Heroes die beautifully only in movies and books. In real life, they piss blood into their pants, scream from pain, and remember their mothers.

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    Not something for an obituary, right? Something for life, something for death, but not for an obituary. To make them interesting and important? Thousands of lives have already been lost in the war in eastern Ukraine. All that is left of them is memory. But what sort of memory do we create for them as a society? Do we feel the responsibility for our little white lies?