Defictionalization: The job description for a Speaker for the Dead is to do historical and narrative research into the dead person's life, and then get up at the funeral and tell the deceased's life story-as they would've told it. OSC reports that people have started to do this in Real Life, and that it is just as powerful as you might imagine. He writes in the introduction that he hopes someone will Speak at his funeral.
Write What You Know: OSC's Mormon mission trip was to Brazil. Lusitania is a colony made up of Brazilians.