It’s one of the hotly denied aspects of our lives, that we are in fact obsessed with death of all kinds. Constantly (to which the traffic jams alongside accidents can attest). Steadfastly (because it is the only thing of which we can be certain). And not only in the physical kind. Social death driven by ‘unacceptable’ acts was in Britain at least, once worse than physical death. We only need to examine literary history to see it.