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Death : from dust to destiny / Richard Brilliant.

  • Brilliant, Richard
  • Books

About this work


The terms 'birth' and 'death' have long denoted the apparent boundaries of our biological lives, situating in time the moments of coming to be and passing away. Yet the specific trajectory of a life can surpass its temporal boundaries. Long after the perishing of the body, and of its physical remains, the individual's ethos can endure in the collective memories of survivors and subsequent generations. Such remnants have been created by rituals, reinforced through commemorations and obituaries, and projected through art and architecture. These powerful inducements to remember counter the finality of physical death, bridging the gap between absence and presence. 'Death: From Dust to Destiny', featuring a wide-ranging collection of texts and images together with the author's guiding commentary, offers a reflective meditation on the methods that artists, architects and writers have developed to activate memory, and animate their subjects into a - possibly - unending afterlife. In this process death need no longer be a terminal departure but can become a new form of existence in the minds of others.


London, UK : Reaktion Books, 2017.

Physical description

245 pages : illustrations (some colour) ; 24 cm

Bibliographic information

Includes bibliographical references (pages 225-226) and index.


Monuments of a recognizable kind eliciting memory of the departed -- Grave matters -- Mourning becomes... -- The remains -- On the verge of death -- After all, we die, and then?


  • English

Where to find it

  • LocationStatus
    History of Medicine
    Open shelves

Permanent link



  • 9781780237251
  • 1780237251