Death's Door Modern Dying and the Ways We Grieve

ISBN-10: 0393329690

ISBN-13: 9780393329698

Edition: 2006

Authors: Sandra M. Gilbert

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"The most comprehensive multidisciplinary contemplation of mortality we are likely to get."Thomas Lynch,New York Times Book Review Prominent critic, poet, and memoirist Sandra M. Gilbert explores our relationship to death though literature, history, poetry, and societal practices. Does deathchangeand if it does, how has it changed in the last century? And how have our experiences and expressions of grief changed? Did the traumas of Hiroshima and the Holocaust transform our thinking about mortality? More recently, did the catastrophe of 9/11 alter our modes of mourning? And are there at the same time aspects of grief that barely change from age to age? Seneca wrote, "Anyone can stop a man's life but no one his death; a thousand doors open on to it." This inevitability has left varying marks on all human cultures. Exploring expressions of faith, burial customs, photographs, poems, and memoirs, acclaimed author Sandra M. Gilbert brings to the topic of death the critical skill that won her fame forThe Madwoman in the Atticand other books, as she examines both the changelessness of grief and the changing customs that mark contemporary mourning. 25 illustrations.
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Book details

List price: $29.95
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, Incorporated
Publication date: 8/17/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 608
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.144
Language: English

List of Illustrations
Preface: A Matter of Life and Death
Arranging My Mourning: Five Meditations on the Psychology of Grief
Death Opens
All Souls' Day
A Door Opens
On the Threshold
Phone Call
Plath's Etymology
The Widower's Exequy
The Widow's Lament
The Widow's Desire
Mr. Lowell and the Spider
Why Is This Day Different from Other Days?
Caring for the Dead
The Buried Life
The Buried Self
E-mail to the Dead
The Hypothetical Life
Textual Resurrections
Psychic Research
Letters to the Virtual World
Allas the Deeth
Writing Wrong
Weep and Write
This Is the Curse. Write
You Must Be Wicked to Deserve Such Pain
A Hole in the Heart
Impossible to Tell
History Makes Death: How the Twentieth Century Reshaped Dying and Mourning
"Modern Death"
"Expiration" vs. "Termination"
Ash Wednesday
Timor Mortis
Ghosts of Heaven
The Souls of Animals
Technologies of Death
Conditio Inhumana
Annihilation in History
The Great War and the City of Death
Hell on Earth
The German Requiem
Technologies of Dying
In the Hospital Spaceship
Questions of Technology
The Inhospitable Hospital
The Doctor's Detachment
What Vivian Is Bearing
A Day in the Death of...
Recording Death
Death Watching
Home Movies
Flashbulb Memories
The Celluloid Afterlife
Death and the Camera
Seeing and Believing
Mortality on Display
Haunting Photographs
Millennial Mourning
A Prayer Flag
Mourning Becomes Electronic
The Embarrassment of the Comforter
The Shame of the Mourner
Mourning as Malarkey
Ritual Offerings
Monumental Particularities
The Handbook of Heartbreak: Contemporary Elegy and Lamentation
On the Beach with Sylvia Plath
This Is the Sea, Then, This Great Abeyance
It Is Given Up
Sylvia Plath and "Sylvia Plath"
Was the Nineteenth Century Different, and Luckier?
The Death Book Stuff
"Not Poetry"
Whitman-and Mother Death and Father Earth
Dickinson-and Death and the Maiden
Grave, Tomb, and Battle Corpses
"Rats' Alley" and the Death of Pastoral
The Army of the Dead
What Was "Pastoral"?
The Poetry Is in the Pity
Down Some Profound Dull Tunnel
I Think We Are in Rats' Alley / Where the Dead Men Lost Their Bones
The Man Who Does Not Know This Has Not Understood Anything
Monsters of Elegy
Let the Lamp Affix Its Beam
How to Perform a Funeral
Documenting Death
Death Studies
Listening, Looking
Is There No Consolation?
Apocalypse Now (and Then)
The Unspeakable Emergency
Ground Zero
Illustration Credits
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