By: Letters | Deeper truth behind opera’s swan songs | Brief letters | Neuroscience | The Guardian
Terminal lucidity | Crime fiction | Clothes | Weather page | Yorkshire’s west coast
I read with interest your article on terminal lucidity (‘The clouds cleared’: what terminal lucidity teaches us about life, death and dementia, 23 February), about those near death who briefly regain their mental strength and clarity. This phenomenon might be relatively new to scientists, but operas have been exploiting it for centuries. Consumptive heroines and flawed heroes often insist on singing a long aria before finally expiring. Such scenes have long been ridiculed, but perhaps they actually express a deeper truth about the human condition than was hitherto suspected?
• Should Dorothy L Sayers have been able to travel through a railway tunnel between Galloway and Northern Ireland (Letters, 22 February), she would have been greeted on arrival by Freeman Wills Crofts, chief engineer of the Belfast and Northern Counties Railway and pre-eminent exponent of plots best solved by reference to Bradshaw’s.