19th-century French literature shows us a society curious about death and morbidly drawn to the dead. Whether it is the loved ones, from whom the family does not want to be separated, or anonymous corpses fished out of the Seine, the distance between the living and the dead is reduced. Death is staged both in the funeral monuments offered for private mourning and in the parade of corpses displayed in morgues open to public curiosity. The disturbing return of the spectre also obeys the logic of rejection of separation and search for spectacularisation. The visualisation of the corpse and of the revenant contaminates even the positivist gaze, which should reject what escapes the categories of the rational.
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