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Keith Dockray’s Road to Oblivion: Personal Letters and Their Value, 2008 to 2018

ByMark Jones

Keith Dockray's Road to Oblivion chronicles the life of a reclusive, manic-depressive, retired, gay, medieval historian/author and is a follow-up to the 2008 autobiography, Memoirs of a Yorkshire Bastard. It covers Keith's life from pension age (as was) to the grand old age of 75, or, in Keith's terms, the years of being a '...knackered, old bastard.' Part of being a knackered, old bastard involved outsourcing of what was meant to be another autobiographical work to his next-door neighbour. So, this is literally next-door to an autobiography! It's a cheery, little read and the icing on the cake is that it’s probably a road map for many of us, once we reach a certain age. As for a clue to Keith's opinions, the following quotes probably tell you a lot. "Now, after four decades of heavy smoking and drinking, I can contemplate a no doubt premature death with equanimity. Progressing to an inevitably lonely, and probably decrepit, old age in an ever more materialistic, technology-obsessed and paranoid society has no appeal whatever. My...fear is of an arrogant and over-powerful but philosophically bankrupt medical profession single-mindedly yet pointlessly dedicated to the preservation of life, of however poor a quality, at all costs. Euthanasia has got to be the better option; I hope, when the time comes, I have the nerve to take it." (2003.) "40+ years of hedonism are now definitely beginning to take their toll [but] even if young again, I’d still reject the option of a healthy lifestyle...I’ve avoided doctors like the plague for most of my adult life, and certainly don’t fancy the largely pointless existence now prescribed for elderly wrecks by the NHS..." (2009.) "Now in my 75th year, I’m strongly inclined to trust only doctors who are both humanists/atheists and firm believers in the right of the elderly to choose their own time/manner of death. Presumably, this means the NHS might well prove of no use to me whatever!" (2018.) Yes, it's a cheery, little read.


Publication Date
Sep 30, 2020
Biographies & Memoirs
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
By (author): Mark Jones



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