Thursday, April 20, 2017

The burial of the dead …

… Blake Morrison - Mortician as Poet | Literary Review | Issue 226. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Although Lynch writes with wit and charm, he regards the ceremonies of death as a solemn business, requiring gravitas. Funerals – like baptisms and nuptials – are an essential way of assigning meaning, a means of ‘disposing of our dead with sufficient pause to say [they’ve] lived in ways different from rocks and rhododendrons and even orang-utans and that those lives [are] worth mentioning and remembering’. He quotes Gladstone to the effect that you can measure people’s respect for the laws of the land by the way they care for their dead. He worries that we’re already living in an age of McFunerals, where the dead are regarded as a nuisance to be got rid of as quickly as possible.

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