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The Presence of the Past:
From Ancestor Worship to Hauntology

William Blake, "Hamlet and his Father's Ghost"

William Blake, “Hamlet and his Father’s Ghost”

5,903 words

We never manage to bury the dead completely. Their words still echo down to us from beyond life’s event horizon in direct contravention of physical law. Our stance towards death is a determining factor in how the dead return to us; in what form and with what significance they haunt the living. Although they are always there, the ways in which they interact with us vary and shift through time. And, at the present time, there is a strange blend of residual religious funerary rites and atheistic materialism. It feels very much as though we go through the motions of dispatching the dead to the next world without believing a word of it. Read more …

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