Drawing on literary and visual texts spanning from the twelfth century to the present, this volume of essays explores what happens when narratives try to push the boundaries of what can be said about death.
Table of Contents
List of Contributors
DANIEL K. JERNIGAN, WALTER WADIAK, and W. MICHELLE WANG
The Uncrossable Border
1 Photography and First-Person Death: Derrida, Barthes, Poe
2 "This memoryall men may have in mynd": Everyman and the Work of Mourning
3 From Nothing to Never? Facing Death in King Lear
4 "Is there no danger in counterfeiting death?": Molière’s The Imaginary Invalid
DANIEL K. JERNIGAN
5 "She is the God of Calvin, she sees the beginning and the end": Narrating Life and Death in the Fiction of Muriel Spark
JOSEPH H. O’MEALY
6 Talking to the Dead: Narrative Closure and the Political Unconscious in Neil Jordan’s Fiction
7 Samuel Johnson and the Grammar of Death
8 Death and Romance in Sir Orfeo
9 Death and the Maidens: John Banville’s Ekphrastic Storyworlds
10 Blood Meridian, the Sublime, and Aesthetic Narrativizations of Death
W. MICHELLE WANG
11 Murder Amidst the Chocolates: Martin McDonagh’s Multifaceted Uses of Death in In Bruges
WILLIAM C. BOLES
12 The Ruined Voice in Tom Murphy’s Bailegangaire
CHERYL JULIA LEE
Daniel K. Jernigan is Associate Professor of English Literature at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. He has written extensively on Tom Stoppard, including his monograph, Tom Stoppard: Bucking the Postmodern (2013). He also edited Flann O’Brien: Plays and Teleplays (2013), and Aidan Higgins’s collection of radio plays, Darkling Plain: Texts for the Air (2010).
Walter Wadiak is Assistant Professor of English at Lafayette College. He specializes in Middle English literature and has written for Exemplaria, Philological Quarterly, and Glossator. His book, Savage Economy: The Returns of Middle English Romance (Notre Dame, 2016), examines the afterlives of chivalric culture in late-medieval English romances.
W. Michelle Wang is Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University’s School of Humanities, English. She received her Ph.D from The Ohio State University and was postdoctoral fellow at Queen Mary University of London, specializing in postmodern and contemporary fiction. She has published articles in the journals Narrative, Review of Contemporary Fiction, and Journal of Narrative Theory.
"The editors offer a valuable, singular study probing strategies for negotiating the unknowable passage from life to death as depicted in a diverse range of international literary classics. Emphasizing aesthetic devices and philosophical underpinings used by authors of each literary classic chosen, the conception of death as a passage exposes the limits and transformative qualities of death, that ‘uncrossable border.’ This is a major study certain to inspire scholars to pursue further examinations of this most universal of journeys."
-- James Fisher, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro