(Roof Books, New York, 2006)
Think of what it would mean to elementary school children to be greeted thus by their new teacher at the beginning of the school year: Children, I can fairly well promise you that if you study hard and always strive to know the full range of the body’s capabilities, you will in all probability not have to die.
– Madeline Gins and Arakawa, Making Dying Illegal
Making Dying Illegal (Roof Books, 2006) puts squarely within the realm of possibility that which previously had been considered to be impossible: to alter the accepted form of our organicity ? to not to die. Were circumstances to be made distinctly otherwise, death could at last cease being inevitable ? Making Dying Illegal not only announces this but shows precisely how to proceed in the matter. Making Dying Illegal tremendously rallies the life force all the while promoting the well-lived life. A new ethics for this poor benighted planet!
BLURB NEST FOR NONDYING (in praise of Making Dying Illegal):
Arakawa and Gins’ Making Dying Illegal is, like all great satire, a serious contribution to a serious problem?a problem that so far each of us has had to face for him-or herself, namely that of stopping being. Who but this singular collaborative pair has risen to the occasion of addressing death as a misdemeanor, if not a felony, on the part of the one who has died? For the first time death is treated not as a certainty of a necessity, but as an option it should be illegal to exercise. The book joins, if it does not constitute, the exiguous library of thanatosophical masterpieces. Its aim, of course, is not literary. It is corollary to the authors’ audacious imperative to take destiny in hand and reverse it.
– Arthur Danto, philosopher, former President of the American Philosophical Association, Emeritus Johnsonian Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University in the City of New York
Grandma Marilyn and I have spent time looking at Arakawa and Gins’ architecture. When she told me that the houses they build will help people not die, I looked up at her and asked, “Why doesn’t everyone build like that?” Yesterday she read to me from Making Dying Illegal. When I told her that I thought dying had always been illegal, she began to cry.
– Joseph Falcey, age 9
Madeline Gins and renowned vocal teacher and founder of Fitzmaurice Voiceworks, Catherine Fitzmaurice read a selection on Biotopology from Making Dying Illegal. Recorded in 2009.
The recording can be listened to here : Fitzmaurice-Gins audio recording
Aakash Singh, Ph.D.,Metapsychology Reviews.vol 12, iss 6. 5 Feb 2008.
Costica Bradatan. “The Alchemists of the 21st Century”.Parallax.vol. 14, no. 4, 1-8. 2008.