Narrating Death: The Limit of Literature, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Narrating Death

The Limit of Literature, 1st Edition

Edited by Daniel K. Jernigan, Walter Wadiak, Michelle Wang

Routledge

212 pages

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Hardback: 9781138360365
pub: 2018-10-17
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Description

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.

Reviews

"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

Table of Contents

List of Contributors

Introduction

DANIEL K. JERNIGAN

PART I

The Uncrossable Border

1 Photography and First-Person Death: Derrida, Barthes, Poe

KEVIN RIORDAN

2 "This memoryall men may have in mynd": Everyman and the Work of Mourning

WALTER WADIAK

3 From Nothing to Never? Facing Death in King Lear

MICHAEL NEILL

4 "Is there no danger in counterfeiting death?": Molière’s The Imaginary Invalid

DANIEL K. JERNIGAN

PART II

Trajectories

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

KEITH HOPPER

7 Samuel Johnson and the Grammar of Death

LAURA DAVIES

8 Death and Romance in Sir Orfeo

ELIZABETH ALLEN

PART III

Aesthetic Crossings

9 Death and the Maidens: John Banville’s Ekphrastic Storyworlds

NEIL MURPHY

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

Index

About the Editors

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.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Comparative Literature

This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Taking a comparative approach to literary studies, this series visits the relationship of literature and language alongside a variety of interdisciplinary and transnational topics. Titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LIT000000
LITERARY CRITICISM / General
LIT020000
LITERARY CRITICISM / Comparative Literature
LIT021000
LITERARY CRITICISM / Horror & Supernatural
LIT025020
LITERARY CRITICISM / Subjects & Themes / Nature