"The dead are our guardians. We give them a future so that they may give us a past."How intertwined our lives are with the dead! They built our cities; they invented and designed so many of the objects and technologies we use every day; they developed our languages and cultures; they created books, poems, music, art that are the basis of our culture; they made political decisions that shaped our countries; the list is endless.But Harrison goes deeper than the obvious, referring to works of literature (contemporary as well as ancient: Homer, Virgil, Dante, Rilke, Joyce, Giorgio Caproni, Eleanor Wilner, etc.), philosophy, anthropology and linguistics to explore the subtle and fascinating aspects of our give-and-take relationship with the dead. Brilliant, thought-provoking and beautiful.