Updation and revision of obituaries

I noticed a curious note at the end of the Arthur C Clarke’s obituary by Anthony Tucker published in the Hindu today:

(This obituary has been revised since Anthony Tucker’s death in 1998.)

Since the original piece was published in Guardian, when I Googled, I found that this is not the first revised/updated obituary by Tucker that has been published in the Guardian: see, for example, the obituaries of Victor Weisskopf, E S Anderson, Hermann Bondi, and Thomas Gold.

Unfortunately, there does not seem to be a wiki page for Tucker; in the absence of any information online, I can only surmise that Tucker was the obituarist for Guardian, whose files/notes/write-ups are still being used.


4 Responses to “Updation and revision of obituaries”

  1. raj Says:

    ha, now I know how detailed obituaries make it to print the same night. Pretty morbid, if you ask me. This Tucker may even have sent the draft copy to Clarke for his approval,

  2. Guru Says:

    Dear Raj,

    I also remember that once BBC aired a news item about the death of Queen or Queen mother; later, it was revealed that that was just a rehearsal in the event of death, but was broadcast by mistake. So, this practice of news media, preparing for the deaths of prominent people might be very common.


  3. Jayan Says:

    This is interesting point. I remember a similar instance in India as well, where the obituary was published while the person was alive.

    On similar track, there is a book by an Ukranian writer, Andrey Kurkov, called ‘Death and Penguin’ where the hero ( Victor) was hired by the local news agency to write obituaries of the VIPs for keeping in file. However, soon the horror hits him as these people starts dying soon after he completed their obituaries.

  4. Guru Says:

    Dear Jayan,

    I think the most famous mishap of this sort is when Mark Twain’s obituary was published by mistake in some newspaper. He wrote a letter which appeared in the newspaper, in which, he is supposed to have said “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated” 🙂

    And, thanks for the pointer to Kurkov’s book; I also see that Literary Saloon gives the book an A+; which means, that I have one more book added to my already bloated to-be-read list!

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