The Dominion of the Dead

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Juni 2005



How do the living maintain relations to the dead? Why do we bury people when they die? And what is at stake when we do? In "The Dominion of the Dead," Robert Pogue Harrison considers the supreme importance of these questions to Western civilization, exploring the many places where the dead cohabit the world of the living--the graves, images, literature, architecture, and monuments that house the dead in their afterlife among us. This elegantly conceived work devotes particular attention to the practice of burial. Harrison contends that we bury our dead to humanize the lands where we build our present and imagine our future. As long as the dead are interred in graves and tombs, they never truly depart from this world, but remain, if only symbolically, among the living. Spanning a broad range of examples, from the graves of our first human ancestors to the empty tomb of the Gospels to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Harrison also considers the authority of predecessors in both modern and premodern societies. Through inspired readings of major writers and thinkers such as Vico, Virgil, Dante, Pater, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Rilke, he argues that the buried dead form an essential foundation where future generations can retrieve their past, while burial grounds provide an important bedrock where past generations can preserve their legacy for the unborn."The Dominion of the Dead" is a profound meditation on how the thought of death shapes the communion of the living. A work of enormous scope, intellect, and imagination, this book will speak to all who have suffered grief and loss.


Robert Pogue Harrison is the Rosina Pierotti Professor in Italian Literature and chair of the Department of French and Italian at Stanford University. He is the author of The Body of Beatrice and Forests: The Shadow of Civilization, the latter published by the University of Chicago Press.


"This is the best book ever written about the cultural meaning of burial, our need to remember the dead (hence our need for history), and the deeper than etymological link between the human and the humus." - Jonathan Bate, Times Literary Supplement; "A guide to the care of self (and society) through an analysis of the care for the dead, written in a manner that is inimitable, provocative and intellectually compelling." - Publishers Weekly; "A significant and learned treatise on something that should concern all of us." - Jack Matthews, Washington Times; "A penetrating look into the realm of the dead." - Bernadette Murphy, Los Angeles Times Book Review; "Harrison... has a rare poetic intelligence that does not shrink from speculative immensity.... In a kind of literary seance, the voices of the dead - poets like Swinburne and Homer, writers like Conrad and Joyce, philosophers like Vico and Heidegger - shape the text.... By the end one begins to think differently about the living as well as the dead." - Edward Rothstein, New York Times; "A daring and ambitious book.... The subject is one in which the reader participates, and it will not end as long as there is someone to ponder it." - W. S. Merwin, New York Review of Books"
EAN: 9780226317939
ISBN: 0226317935
Untertitel: black & white illustrations. Sprache: Englisch.
Verlag: The University of Chicago Press
Erscheinungsdatum: Juni 2005
Seitenanzahl: 224 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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