What do you do with death and dying when they can no longer be pushed to the outer limits of your lived experience or dismissed from your conscious mind? How do you live with death or rather how do you ‘live death’ when death comes too close, seeming to enter the very air you breathe?
The Plague is a collection of essays guiding us from the Covid-19 pandemic through to the war in Ukraine in order to imagine a world in which a radical respect for death might exist alongside a fairer distribution of the earth’s wealth. ‘Living death’ will appear as something of a refrain, a reminder that to think of death as an avoidable intruder into how we order our lives, especially in the West, is an act of defiance that is doomed to fail. In the thought of the philosopher Simone Weil, who plays a key role in the book, only if we admit the limits of the human, will we stop vaunting the brute illusion of earthly power.