I’ve often wondered why artists are so often under-appreciated during their lifetimes and only after death do they become truly legendary. For example, I’m betting there has been and will continue to be an appreciable spike in the sales of Isaac Hayes’s music this week.
I think the answer is that once an artist dies, then their story is finally written. The book is closed. Only after death can sense be made of their lives and a solid narrative arc constructed without fear of any unexpected alteration. The artist becomes a known and agreed-upon quantity, and their piece of the cultural puzzle is affixed to its proper place, forever.