“Knifing the Dead” / A Memorable Fancy #160

In a far land there is a ceremony called “knifing.” On the anniversary of a death, survivors gather at the burial place and thrust knives into the ground above the corpse, shouting the name of the dead one and cursing him for reminding them of their own forthcoming fate.

The knives so used are considered holy, and are henceforth employed to slaughter bleating, terrified mammals on the altar.

[– after Julia Kristeva]

 

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