Corpse

A beautiful piece of writing by Zadie Smith on the corpse…and, on page 2, corpsification:

What is a corpse? It’s what they piled up by the hundreds when the Rana Plaza collapsed in Bangladesh this April. It’s what lands on the ground each time a human being jumps off the Foxconn building in China’s high-tech iPhone manufacturing complex. (Twenty-one have died since 2010.) They spring flower-like in budded clusters whenever a bomb goes off in the marketplaces of Iraq and Afghanistan. A corpse is what individual angry, armed Americans sometimes make of each other for strangely underwhelming reasons: because they got fired, or a girl didn’t love them back, or nobody at their school understands them. Sometimes—horrifyingly—it’s what happens to one of “our own,” and usually cancer has done it, or a car, at which moment we rightly commit ourselves to shunning the very concept of the “corpse,” choosing instead to celebrate and insist upon the reality of a once-living person who, though “dearly departed,” is never reduced to matter alone

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