Grave Goods – Richard Littler.
Welcome to Grave Goods, a series of interviews in which the interviewee selects five items they’d like to accompany them to the afterlife.
This time, it’s the turn of Richard Littler to select the goods and gear to carry over to the next world. Richard is a writer, graphic artist and the creator of the Scarfolk Council blog and books ‘Discovering Scarfolk’ and ‘The Scarfolk Annual 197X’. He’s also the writer & director of ‘Dick & Stewart’, a dystopian children’s animation. Edward Snowden described him as “This guy, who apparently saw the future.”
Tools of the Trade – a tool/implement without which you’d be lost, whether it’s a pen, trowel, notepad, bottle-opener or scanning electron microscope.
I won’t go anywhere without music, even in the afterlife, so I’d take my hard-drives (& computer to access them). Over the years, in addition to widely available albums, I’ve amassed a digital collection of music, much of which has never been released: live shows, studio sessions, radio station and film studio acetates, as well as out-of-print material, etc. Apart from the fact that I am essentially biologically dependent on music, it helps me focus on work and gets me into an appropriately dreamy, removed state of mind, especially when I’m brainstorming or doing graphic work. I worry about these recordings because some are very difficult to find. You’ll never see any of this stuff on streaming services (which are fast becoming monoculture) or for purchase from official sources, so you start to feel a bit like a custodian. You never know for sure if anyone else has a copy, so I’ll have to take it with me the way that pharaohs were entombed with pots of honey.
Food for the Journey – a favourite portable snack, or a portion of something from your funeral feast.
I get cravings for certain types of food so it would make sense to take one of those: fermented cabbage of some variety (sauerkraut or kimchi), cheese, some form of pea/bean/lentil soup. Is booze a snack? Technically, I don’t think it is but I can be resourceful. What if I froze it and nibbled on it? Primitivo lollies.
Memento Vivere – a memento of a companion/event to bring you cheer (can be an image).
Ex Libris – the book or text you are least likely to tire of reading.
I want to say something clever like the complete works of Orwell, Atwood, Ballard or boxsets of the Paris Review interviews or Faber film series, but I may just opt for a complete run of The Amazing Spider-Man or the Asterix books.
That said, books can be stored so easily now, so could I just take a digital copy of every book I own and would like to read on my aforementioned hard drives? Drives nowadays are no larger than a book, if this is a question of space…
Lucky Deposition – a bonus selection chosen by the guest – can include transport.
A musical instrument of some sort. I used to play the drums (I have the dubious honour of being told I was good drummer by Derek Nimmo on a TV talent show) and I’m one of those annoying people who incessantly fingerdrums on any available surface. My wife has a red, 1950s semi-acoustic guitar that was once her mother’s, which I can’t really play but enjoy fiddling with and making up my own tunes. I always wanted to play jazz piano so maybe I should take that. An eternity might just about be long enough to make some headway, even for someone like me with my clumsy fingers.
A Message from Beyond the Grave – an entirely discretionary option – leave a note for a future generation to find.
“Please do not, in thousands of years when advanced science makes it possible, create a clone from my meagre remains to make me stand trial for the vast, innumerable errors of my age”. Second thought: I suppose someone’s got to take responsibility for it and I’m as culpable as anyone. I’ll just have to hope that future prison facilities are comparatively luxurious by then.