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Keep Death in Halloween: A Conversation with Elizabeth Harper

Halloween kicks off the Octave of the Dead, eight days when Christians traditionally prayed for the souls of the departed. For this episode of the podcast I talked to Elizabeth Harper, whose essay, “The Cult of the Beheaded,” in Image 102, explores one culture’s particular history of praying with the remains of the dead.

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Happy Halloween: Remember You Will Die

By Jessica MesmanOctober 31, 2018

This week we are delighted to welcome Jessica Mesman as Good Letters’ new editor.   “Without an ever-present sense of death life is insipid. You might as well live on the whites of eggs.” ― Muriel Spark, Memento Mori It’s dark this morning. Sunrise comes later over the cornfield. The maple outside my window is yellowing,…

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These Bones

By Katie HautamakiOctober 30, 2017

My son Sam, like many six-year-olds, is a devout observer of Halloween. He loves the candy, of course, but he also thrills to the other accoutrements of the holiday: the decorations, the parties, the music (his favorite song is Edvard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King”). Sam is also an unusually dogmatic trick-or-treater,…

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Interview with a Zombie

By Tania RunyanOctober 27, 2016

Halloween costumes and decorations. If I’m a vampire, Pinterest is my garlic. Not only do I cut and paste at a first-grade level but tolerate little more than a basic jack-o-lantern or paper bat in my house. But come September, neighborhood front yards become graveyards. Styrofoam headstones with epitaphs like “I.M. Dead” and “Bone Voyage”…

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