There are no graves on Ithaky. The people there cremate their dead, in remembrance of the Desolation, scattering their ashes on some part of the island frequented by the deceased, and the spot is marked—by a stone, or a tree with a plaque hung on it, or a memorial sculpture—and left, untended, for a hundred years. After that, the marker is removed—“deleted”, they say—and the dead person, Isolate no more, is reabsorbed into the life of the island. In this way, the dead are at the same time physically erased from history—though they may be remembered in song—and readmitted to the community from which they sprang.

Thus Ithaky remembers its own death.

Last updated 2021/09/07