Which Films and Literature Use Carpe Diem & Memento mori Themes?

Remembering our mortality significantly improves our daily lives if we can endure and overcome the sense of looming finality. We live each day in routine. Even those finding something new to do each day end up in the routine of novelty. Newness becomes their pattern. My own life desires some new narrative, or at least, a deepening of narrative developed through literature.

Therefore, please recommend books, short stories, and films containing themes of seizing the day, living in the moment, and enjoying life to the fullest with the consequence of death.

Secondly, perhaps harder to find, but please also suggest material with themes of the life after the thrill has come and gone or themes of having to deal with the consequences of living temporary bliss.

One example of my own. One short story that I’ve never been able to get out of my head is Paul’s Case (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul’s_Case) which you can read here: (http://cather.unl.edu/ss006.html). [Minor Spoiler Alert] I do not want to give too much away, but this is one of the most inspiring pieces of literature that I have encountered that argues that living in the moment is more important than life itself.

Thank you so much for your post.

Such a very amazing link!
Thanks you for the post.


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You’re welcome ligiahag7902~ I hope to get a kick in the right direction; however, I’m worried that I’ll get a piece that is so inspiring that I’ll be convinced to jump off a building in an overwhelming impulse of glory.

ETA: Knigel is responding to a content spammer who has been banned. [twickster]

Moving thread from IMHO to Cafe Society.

Harold and Maude is in this category- Maude anyway.

I think pretty much any story featuring an elderly character uses these themes. The last I saw was a rerun of Secondhand Lions.

Dead Poet’s Society?

For the first one, Stranger than Fiction

I remember hearing Henry Poole Is Here being close to your second category. However, I’ve never seen it.

Wow, fantastic suggestions. I loved Stranger than Fiction and because of this post I rewatched Harold and Maude. Thank you!

I don’t know if it’s your thing but, Jack London has written a lot of short stories similar to your post. I’d recommend “A Piece of Steak” “The Sea Wolf” and his “South Sea Tales”.

“I seek not beyond death. It may be the blackness averred by the Nemedian skeptics, or Crom’s realm of ice and cloud, or the snowy plains and vaulted halls of the Nordheimer’s Valhalla. I know not, nor do I care. Let me live deep while I live; let me know the rich juices of red meat and stinging wine on my palate, the hot embrace of white arms, the mad exultation of battle when the blue blades flame and crimson, and I am content. Let teachers and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. I live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and am content.”
[RIGHT]—Conan the Barbarian, “Queen of the Black Coast”[/RIGHT]