The Lives of Others is concerned with the debts and obligations that accompany the passing of the generations. “For no one bears this life alone” is how Hölderlin describes the mutuality that binds us to our forebears. Each of the contributors to this issue of Southerly endeavours to understand the ways in which this mutuality guides out actions and behaviours. What forms of writing and memorialisation can assist us to acknowledge the unfinished nature of the relationships that link the present to the past, the living to the dead? Is there a way to answer the phantom’s call yet keep faith with those secrets that have made their home in us?