In The Dominion of the Dead, Robert Pogue Harrison explores 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. 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. A profound meditation on how the thought of death shapes the communion of the living, and a work of enormous scope, intellect, and imagination, this book speaks to all who have suffered grief and loss.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 340 g
Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 1 mm
"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"