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Arts of Dying – Literature and Finitude in Medieval England - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Arts of Dying: Literature and Finitude in Medieval England

D. Vance Smith


This book argues that the problem of how to designate death produces a long tradition of literature about dying in Old and Middle English, a literature that intensively and self-reflexively imagines how the very terms of literature might solve the problem of the termination of life. The book ranges between close readings of literature’s attempts to imagine a relation with death in major poets like Geoffrey Chaucer and the Pearl­­ poet, and philosophical attempts to designate death despite its impossibility: the relation between finitude and form. The book also explores the relation between cry ... More

Keywords: archive, crypt, death, dying, finitude, form, medieval literature, Maurice Blanchot, Gillian Rose

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780226640853
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226641041.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

D. Vance Smith, author
Princeton University