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Grave Matters

"Cemeteries", writes Mark C. Taylor, "are where I go to commune with ’my’ ghosts. The journey to the cemetery is always solitary even when I am with people who are closest to me. In the graveyard, the we is dispersed and the I stripped bare." In Grave Matters, Taylor’s ghosts become our own. His thoughtful, poignant essay interweaves personal narrative, historical analysis, cultural commentary and philosophical reflection.

Dietrich Christian Lammerts’s photographs show us the graves of the artists, architects, writers, philosophers and musicians who shaped Western culture; at once beautiful and disturbing, they suggest an alternative history of modernism and its precursors. Grave Matters raises difficult questions: What place do the modern greats have in the postmodern age? Who decided where and how they would be buried? Who wrote their epitaphs? What do their deaths, and their graves, tell us about their lives and suggest about our own? The words and images of Grave Matters inscribe the future that we all face, and to ponder this memento mori is to meet life anew.

Distribution by the University of Chicago Press only to customers in the USA and Canada. Customers elsewhere should visit the UK website of Reaktion Books.


168 pages | 7.5 x 9.87

Anthropology: Cultural and Social Anthropology

Art: Photography


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