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    Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck: Why We Can't Look Away (Paperback) By (author) Eric G. Wilson

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    DescriptionWhether we admit it or not, we're fascinated by evil. Dark fantasies, morbid curiosities, Schadenfreude: as conventional wisdom has it, these are the symptoms of our wicked side, and we succumb to them at our own peril. But we're still compelled to look whenever we pass a grisly accident on the highway, and there's no slaking our thirst for gory entertainments like horror movies and police procedurals. What makes these spectacles so irresistible? In "Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck", the scholar Eric G. Wilson sets out to discover the source of our attraction to the gruesome, drawing on the findings of biologists, sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, philosophers, theologians, and artists. A professor of English literature and a lifelong student of the macabre, Wilson believes there's something nourishing in darkness. "To repress death is to lose the feeling of life," he writes. "A closeness to death discloses our most fertile energies." His examples are legion and startling in their diversity. Citing everything from elephant graveyards and Susan Sontag's "On Photography" to the Tiger Woods sex scandal and Steel Magnolias, Wilson finds heartening truths wherever he confronts death. In "Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck", the perverse is never far from the sublime. The result is a powerful and delightfully provocative defence of what it means to be human - for better and for worse.

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  • Full bibliographic data for Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck

    Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck
    Why We Can't Look Away
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Eric G. Wilson
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 224
    Width: 130 mm
    Height: 194 mm
    Thickness: 15 mm
    Weight: 186 g
    ISBN 13: 9780374533700
    ISBN 10: 0374533709

    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 25320
    BIC E4L: PSY
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T17.9
    B&T Merchandise Category: GEN
    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC subject category V2: JM
    B&T General Subject: 750
    Ingram Subject Code: PS
    Libri: I-PS
    BIC subject category V2: MBPK
    BISAC V2.8: SOC022000, SOC026000
    BIC subject category V2: JHB
    B&T Approval Code: A11330000
    BISAC V2.8: PSY000000
    DC22: 155.9/35, 155.935
    BISAC V2.8: SOC002010, PHI034000
    B&T Approval Code: A11334400
    LC subject heading:
    LC classification: BF323.C8 W55 2012
    LC subject heading: ,
    DC23: 155.935
    Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc
    Imprint name
    Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc
    Publication date
    11 March 2013
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    Author Information
    Eric G. Wilson is the Thomas H. Pritchard Professor of English at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He is the author of "Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy," "The Mercy of Eternity: A Memoir of Depression and Grace," and five books on the relationship between literature and psychology.
    Review quote
    "Eric G. Wilson's smart, probing new book . . . sets out to explain what lies beneath our collective fascination with death and suffering . . . "Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck "isn't some holier-than-thou polemic out to cure us of our dark leanings . . . Instead, it simply aims to help readers gain 'a fulfilling response to two of life's greatest, most pressing and persistent questions. What is the meaning of suffering? What is the significance of death? . . . The book's slim, peripatetic chapters cover an awful lot of erudite territory, as Wilson draws ideas and research from a delightful grab bag of academics, artists and thinkers. Aristotle, Freud, Kant, Goya and Hardy all make appearances, alongside an assortment of sociopaths and serial murderers." --John Wilwol, "NPR.org" "Wilson is provocative, entertaining and above all honest." --Chris Tucker, "The Dallas Morning News""A leisurely, light-footed overview of our cultural obsession with doom, gloom, and gore." --Josh Rothman, "The Boston Globe ""Compelling . . . Wilson keeps hearing a voice within that tells him to 'look.' He follows this instinct, energized by the idea that his thoughtful connoisseurship of the world's darkness is good--noble, even. Wilson draws on philosophers, poets, psychologists, filmmakers and more to build a case that 'an eager, open-minded interest in the macabre' provides 'a special invitation to think about life's meanings' . . . Wilson's guidance is personal, engaging, and convincing . . . The book offers heaps of terribly tantalizing topics." --Chris Jozefowicz, "Rue Morgue ""Mixing anecdotes, arguments and his own quirky persona, the author of "Against Happiness "delivers a provocative meditation on morbid curiosity and the pleasure of seeing others suffer." --"The Times-Picayune "(New Orleans)" "" ""Wilson explores [his theme] with zeal and a great deal of wit. It's hard, as one reads this fascinating book, not to see quite a bit of ou