The Power of Death: Contemporary Reflections on Death in Western Society

The Power of Death: Contemporary Reflections on Death in Western Society

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Overview

The social and cultural changes of the last century have transformed death from an everyday fact to something hidden from view. Shifting between the practical and the theoretical, the professional and the intimate, the real and the fictitious, this collection of essays explores the continued power of death over our lives. It examines the idea and experience of death from an interdisciplinary perspective, including studies of changing burial customs throughout Europe; an account of a“dying party” in the Netherlands; examinations of the fascination with violent death in crime fiction and the phenomenon of serial killer art; analyses of death and bereavement in poetry, fiction, and autobiography; and a look at audience reactions to depictions of death on screen. By studying and considering how death is thought about in the contemporary era, we might restore the natural place it has in our lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781785335105
Publisher: Berghahn Books, Incorporated
Publication date: 02/01/2017
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Maria-José Blanco is a Lecturer and Language teacher in the Department of Spanish Portuguese and Latin American Studies (SPLAS) at King’s College London. She is the author of Life-writing in Carmen Martín Gaite’s Cuadernos de todo and her Novels of the 1990s (2013), and the editor of a special issue of Journal of Romance Studies, “Airing the Private: Women’s Diaries in the Luso-Hispanic World” (2009) and the forthcoming Feminine Singular: Growing up through life-writing in the Luso-Hispanic World ( 2014).

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Notes on Contributors

Introduction

Ricarda Vidal and Maria-José Blanco

PART I: DEATH IN SOCIETY

Chapter 1. Life Extension, Immortality and the Patient Voice

Catherine Jenkins

Chapter 2. Beyond ‘Mourning and Melancholia’

Lynne M. Simpson

Chapter 3. War and Requiem Compositions in the Twentieth Century

Wolfgang Marx

PART II: DEATH IN LITERATURE

Chapter 4. Understanding Death/Writing Bereavement: The writer’s experience

Maria-José Blanco López de Lerma

Chapter 5. A Way of Sorrows for the Twentieth Century: Margherita Guidacci’s LaVia Crucis dell’umanità

Eleanor David

Chapter 6. From Self-Erasure to Self-Affirmation: Communally Acknowledged ‘Good Death’ in Ernest Gaines’s A Lesson Before Dying

Corina Crisu

Chapter 7. Habeas Corpse. The Dead Body of Evidence in John Grisham’s The Client

Fiorenzo Iuliano

Chapter 8. The Fascination with Torture and Death in Twenty-first-Century Crime Fiction

Rebecca Shillabeer

PART III: DEATH IN VISUAL CULTURE

Chapter 9. The Power of Negative Creation – Why Art by Serial Killers Sells

Ricarda Vidal

Chapter 10. Screening the Dying Individual: Film, Mortality and the Ethics of Spectatorship

John Horne

Chapter 11. The Broken Body as Spectacle: Looking at Death and Injury in Sport

Julia Banwell

Chapter 12. Death on Display: The Ideological Function of the Mummies of the World Exhibit

Diana York Blaine

PART IV: CEMETERIES AND FUNERALS

Chapter 13. The Romanian Carnival of Death and the Merry Cemetery of Săpânţa

Marina Cap Bun

Chapter 14. In the Dead of Night: a Nocturnal Exploration of Heterotopia in the Graveyard

Bel Deering

Chapter 15. Scenarios of Death in Contexts of Mobility: Guineans and Bangladeshis in Lisbon

Clara Saraiva and José Mapril

Chapter 16. Karaoke Death: Intertextuality in Active Euthanasia Practices

Natasha Lushetich

PART V: PERSONAL REFLECTIONS ON DEATH

Chapter 17. Death isn't what it used to be

Lala Isla

Chapter 18. The Dad Project

Briony Campbell

Index

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