Bodies in Motion and at Rest: On Metaphor and Mortality by Thomas Lynch

By Thomas Lynch

Masterful essays that remove darkness from not just how we die but in addition how we live.

Thomas Lynch, poet, funeral director, and writer of the hugely praised The Undertaking, winner of an American booklet Award and finalist for the nationwide e-book Award, maintains to envision the kin among the "literary and mortuary arts."

"Lynch engages the reader with a mix of poetic and funerary elements....his voice is wealthy and generous."—Richard Bernstein, New York Times

"[W]hat makes him this type of high quality essayist is that it's simply the company of way of life and demise to him."—Los Angeles instances ebook Review

"Few readers will stroll clear of this quantity below surprised and grateful."—Jay Parini, writer of Benjamin's Crossing

"A luminous paintings of words."—Nicholas Delbanco, writer of What Remains

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Example text

He was badly in need of support in his crisis and ‘I desperately wanted to believe’. The long talk with the priest was comforting, but he found himself too embarrassed to sink to his knees to join his friend in prayer. Hayden’s reason did not allow him to make a leap of faith which would have seemed hypocritical. He regretted his atheism, but it forced him to cope with his crisis alone and in silence. Condolence letters were also unhelpful to him because their dominant form of consolation was a Christian belief that Michaela’s death was God’s will.

11 Bravado and clumsy jokes helped soldiers to survive and reassured anxious families. ’12 About 7600 Anzac soldiers proved their courage at Gallipoli in 1915 where they helped forge an enduring national legend which converted military disaster into moral victory. Those soldiers who sacrificed their lives became national heroes who provided Australia with a powerful image of the formation of national identity. From an early date Gallipoli came to be seen as the birth of a nation. 13 The Newcastle Morning Herald gave its own verdict on its heroes on Anzac Day 1916: The fame of the Australian soldier as a fighting man, his heroism, his reckless disregard of danger, is now known all over Europe and throughout Asiatic Turkey.

26 Just over a year later, another dear neighbour died suddenly – possibly the wife of the man who had died earlier – this time of peritonitis, ‘a terrible blow’. The neighbour’s daughter came at dawn to say her mother had just died. Miles told Moir, ‘It was a great shock as she had promised a day earlier if she were the one to find me dead that she would let none see me; and she had the phone too and said if I could crawl to that and let her know she would be in any minute. ’27 This underlines the anxiety Miles experienced, as death approached, about her expectation that she would die alone and that she must rely on her neighbour to find her and advise her cousin.

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