Cummings died young, suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. About his impending demise he wrote:
To me the honour is sufficient of belonging to the universe -- such a great universe, and so grand a scheme of things. Not even Death can rob me of that honour. For nothing can alter the fact that I have lived; I have been I, if for ever so short a time. And when I am dead, the matter which composes my body is indestructible -- and eternal, so that come what may to my 'Soul,' my dust will always be going on, each separate atom of me playing its separate part -- I shall still have some sort of a finger in the pie. When I am dead, you can boil me, burn me, drown me, scatter me -- but you cannot destroy me: my little atoms would merely deride such heavy vengeance. Death can do no more than kill you.I have download a free copy here of the work (which has fallen out of copyright). (Copy digitized by Robarts Library at the University of Toronto.) Even a cursory glance through some of the entries reveals a diarist of great humour and sensitivity. I believe that one cannot be disappointed by The Journal of a Disappointed Man.*
*From a 1919 Daily Herald review of the book: "… Barbellion had a faculty for seeing what other people miss, for deductions that were free of conventional control, and for expressing his intuitive perceptions in a lively and illuminating manner, which is what we call genius."
Read more reflections on history, idleness, and the art of living from the Idle Historian in To The Idler The Spoils