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The Grim Reader

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Edited by Maura SpiegelAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Maura Spiegel and Richard TristmanAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Richard Tristman

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List Price: $17.99

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On Sale: June 16, 2010
Pages: 448 | ISBN: 978-0-307-87436-8
Published by : Anchor Knopf
The Grim Reader Cover

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ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
Synopsis|Table of Contents

Synopsis

   The fear of death, the pain of bereavement, the art of consolation, and the custom of mourning—these are experiences with which all mortals must reckon.  In The Grim Reader, editors Maura Spiegel and Richard Tristman have gathered the best classic and contemporary writing on mortality—from Montaigne to Monty Python—to produce an essential resource for the heart and mind. These idiosyncratic and always enlightening pieces are grouped into thematic parts in which a diversity of perspective on death are revealed.  From death in its most personal sphere to the major issues of death in the public realm, The Grim Reader offers a fresh and unmediated encounter with mortality and the many dimensions of grief and recovery.

   A compelling collection of poems, fiction, letters, historical documents, essays, and narrations from a wide variety of writers, including:

Vladimir Nabokov- John Ashbery- Samuel Beckett
Adam Smith- Simone de Beauvoir- Grace Paley
Giovanni Boccaccio- Bertolt Brecht- Roland Barthes
James Baldwin- Primo Levi- Anne Sexton
Luis Buñuel- Paul Monette- Jessica Mitford- Stanley Elkin
 

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Preface
 
PART 1:  RECKONINGS
 
WRESTLING WITH THE FACT
Sigmund Freud: On Transience
Bertolt Brecht: On His Mortality
Michel de Montaigne: To Philosophize Is to Learn to Die
Thomas Nagel: Death
C. P. Cavafy: The Horses of Achilles
Vladimir Nabokov: Speak, Memory
 
BEING BRAVE AND BEING SCARED
Philip Larkin: Aubade
Paul Zweig: Departures
John Keats: Sonnet
Marguerite Yourcenar: With Open Eyes
Adam Smith: On the Death of David Hume
William Hazlitt: On the Fear of Death
John Ashbery: Fear of Death
Robert Louis Stevenson: Aes Triplex
 
TIME TO BE OLD
A. R. Ammons: from Garbage
Samuel Clemens: On Old Age
Luis Buñuel: Swan Song
Kingsley Amis: Lovely
Philip Larkin: The Old Fools
 
PART 2: WHAT WORDS ARE THERE?
 
LEFT BEHIND
Paul Auster: Portrait of an Invisible Man
Donald Justice: Sonnet to My Father
Colette: He Died in His Seventy-Fourth Year . . .
Alvin Feinman: True Night
Emily Dickinson: Poems and a Letter
Sharon Olds: The Death of Marilyn Monroe 129
 
ONE FIGHT MORE
Sir Thomas Browne: Religio Medici
James Merrill: An Upward Look
Simone de Beauvoir: A Very Easy Death
Nicole Loraux: A Woman’s Suicide for a Man’s Death
 
SONS AND DAUGHTERS
Grace Paley: Mother
James Baldwin: Notes of a Native Son
Philip Roth: Patrimony
Anne Sexton: The Child-Bearers
Elizabeth Rosen: My Mother’s Death
 
PART 3:  GIVE DEATH THE CROWN: WAR, PESTILENCE, GENOCIDE
 
IN ITS MIDST
Jasper Griffin: On Epic Death
Alan Moorehead: Gallipoli
Giovanni Boccaccio: The Plague in Florence
Samuel Pepys: The Plague in London
Primo Levi: October 1944
Robert Jay Lifton: Immersion in Death
 
OUR PLAGUE: AIDS
Emmanuel Dreuilhe: Mortal Embrace
Thom Gunn: Terminal
Paul Monette: 3275
 
 
PART 4: MAKING ARRANGEMENTS
 
THE ‘‘FORMAL FEELING’’: RITES AND RITUAL
Emily Vermeule: A Very Active Dead
Geoffrey Gorer: Death, Grief, and Mourning in Contemporary Britain
Sheila Awooner-Renner: I Desperately Needed to See My Son
George Bernard Shaw: On the Cremation of His Mother
Richard Selzer: Remains
 
DEATH CULTURES
Philippe Ariès: The Modern Cemetery
Jessica Mitford: The American Way of Death
Rudolf Schäfer: Photographing the Dead
Roland Barthes: Camera Lucida
Siegfried Giedion: The Mechanization of Death
Erwin Panofsky: The Dangerous Dead
 
LEGACIES
E. A. J. Honigmann: The Second-Best Bed
Carlos M. N. Eire: From Madrid to Purgatory
 
PART 5: DEATH ISSUES
 
FINAL CARE
George Orwell: How the Poor Die
Anne Munley: The Hospice Alternative
Joseph A. Califano: Death Management
 
EUTHANASIA AND ASSISTED SUICIDE
Timothy Quill: The Burdens of Aggressive Medical Treatment
Ronald Dworkin: Life’s Dominion
Michael Burleigh: ‘‘Euthanasia’’ in Germany
 
PART 6: A HEALTHY DISTANCE
Samuel Beckett: Malone Dies
Stanley Elkin: The Beginning of the (Living) End
Monty Python: The Dead Parrot
Milan Kundera: Graveside Laughter
 
PART 7: RECAPITULATION
William Shakespeare: Hamlet: The Graveyard

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