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Cultures reveal themselves in how they react to death: how they ritualize it, tell its story, heal themselves. Before the modern period, death and dying seemed definitive, public and appropriate. The industrial revolution, the Great War and the radical re-envisioning of inner and outer reality after Marx, Darwin, Nietzsche, Einstein, van Gennep and Freud destabilized cultural norms and transformed the protocols of death and dying. In Fictional Death and the Modernist Enterprise, first published in 1995, Alan Friedman traces the semiotics of death and dying in twentieth-century fiction, history and culture. He describes how modernist writers either, like Forster and Woolf, elided rituals of dying and death; or, rediscovering the body as Lawrence and Hemingway did, transformed Victorian 'aesthetic death' into modern 'dirty death'. And he goes on to show how, through postmodern fiction and AIDS narratives, death has once again become cultural currency.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521055673
ISBN-10: 0521055679
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 20mm)
Pages: 356
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 21-Jan-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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