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An Alphabetical Inventory of the Dead

Rineke de Jong

Almere, Netherlands

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An Alphabetical Inventory of the Dead
This is a funereal volume, long and slim and bound in silver bark. It contains all the names of the dead who have lived on earth. The first name is Adam and the last is Susannah, Prospero’s wife. The names are written in many inks and many calligraphies a nd are arranged in long columns that sometimes reflect the alphabet, sometimes a chronology of history, but often use taxonomies that are complicated to unravel, such that you may search many years to find a name, but be sure it will be there. The pages o f the book are very old and are watermarked with a collection of designs for tombs and columbariums, elaborate headstones, graves, sarcophagi and other architectural follies for the dead, suggesting the book had other purposes, even before the death of Ad am.

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