By comparing James Boswell's accounts of the execution of Mr Gibson, a scene he describes in three different texts written fifteen years apart, readers see the author challenging contemporary religious and philosophical views of death as the destruction of memory and even testing assumptions that writing and print are static memories in physical form. Through the revision process, he insists that memory after death, like the revision of narrative long after the original event took place, is a dynamic process of continuous, immaterial change. Advocating interpretive remembering as a means of coping with death and strengthening his faith in an afterlife, he critiques the role of memorization in law and the religious upbringing of his childhood as well as expresses his frustration with the treatment of memory by John Locke and David Hume, whose theories of the mind leave little room for the kind of intellectual immortality Boswell hopes will continue after death.
"James Boswell's Revisions of Death as 'The Hypochondriack' and in the London Journals,"
1, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.mcmaster.ca/ecf/vol21/iss1/4