Tuesday, 31 January 2017

urne buriall


http://penelope.uchicago.edu/woolf.html   "Afflictions induce callosities"

collotype / 1932

'In a Field in old Walsingham, not many moneths past, were digged up between fourty and fifty Urnes, deposited in a dry and sandy soile, not a yard deep, not farre from one another: Not all strictly of one figure, but most answering these described: Some containing two pounds of bones, distinguisable in skulls, ribs, jaws, thigh-bones, and teeth, with fresh impressions of their combustion. Besides the extraneous substances, like peeces of small boxes, or combes handsomely wrought, handles of small brasse instruments, brazen nippers, and in one some kinde of Opale.'

In the first chapter of The Rings of Saturn W.G. Sebald meditates, in turn, upon Thomas Browne and Hydriotaphia:

  'The inquiry of oblivion blindly scatters her poppyseed and when wretchedness falls upon us one summer's day like snow, all we wish for is to be forgotten. These are the circles Browne's thoughts describe, most unremittingly perhaps in Hydriotaphia or Urn Burial of 1658, a discourse on sepulchral urns found in a field near Walsingham in Norfolk. Drawing upon the most varied of historical and natural historical sources, he expatiates upon the rites we enact when one from our midst sets out on his last journey.'

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