a life of closely retracing — literally, reliving — a personality, rematerializing a mind from its legacy: re-tipping a cone. Inachievable in perfect totality, relife is a relative term (“how much of a relife” are you); it may only make sense for historically recent lives that left sufficient records — but theres no shortage of attempts to relive fragmentary, legendary, knowably fictional characters. ■    More than recreate: unfold, interpolate, valorize the past, collaborate through time, argue from inside (“ultimate engaging”) — establish a continuity of culture no studies ever achieve; rething yourself by free-riding your heros effusions, experience givings and revealings youll never afford on your own. It started small: isolated experiments restricted a wakers exposure — languages, books, whole Knowledge snapshots — to that of a known childhood from the past; no props or theatricals at first: no ambitions to imitate, only to understand. Reliving grew depthward as it spread; now collaborations mock up extensive details of environment, education, zeitgeist for relife projects: before waking into a relife, ones whole previous life is often spent on research and groundwork. Relivers naturally cluster into collectives, cultures, museum-like provinces; with will enough, you can hire traveling troupes or fandoms that major in your historical period. Typically a relife has a natural family as core, sometimes multigenerational (grandparents, parents fully relived before the main debut); boundaries between the core and the supporting cast are hazy — breachable in both directions. Some affinity to your character must be there to begin with but self-morphing with brain and body inves is not uncommon. ■    Panpraxis is why: a reliver works to existentiate something his character could — or even did but imperfectly — create. Hard-to-believe ghostwritings are known but fidelity is rarely the make-or-break of a relife — majority of relivers' works “arent even stylizations,” their provenance barely guessable: when they become influential its usually on their own merits. Fundamentally a creative project, a relife is a success when it produces anything of torque.  ■    Relives of all scopes and depths pop up daily though only a fraction reaches maturity: most fizzle out, get forked, “wander off” within a year of inception. A reliver may break from the mould after an intrusion, accidental or not, of the “continental world” — but most leave gradually, bend or dilute their environment until further replay makes little sense; consciously returning into ones abandoned relife, or even launching a new relife from inside one, are not as rare as some imagine. Few re-leavers reveal or let leak who they have been (“not in it for names”) but some exude a perceptible, slowly dimming “relife glow” — and thats what makes the journey worth it: not to flee to a faraway land but to feast on its not-hereness, collect its understandings to plant in your garden.

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