Speaking with the Dead
18%
off

Speaking with the Dead : Explorations in Literature and History

3 (2 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?

Not expected to be delivered to the United States by Christmas Not expected to be delivered to the United States by Christmas

Description

This book deals with the special power of literary texts to put us in contact with the past. A large number of authors, coming from different ages, have described this power in terms of 'the conversation with the dead': when we read these texts, we somehow find ourselves conducting a special kind of dialogue with dead authors. The book covers a number of texts and authors that make use of this metaphor - Petrarch, Machiavelli, Sidney, Flaubert, Michelet, Barthes. In connecting these texts and authors in novel ways, Jurgen Pieters tackles the all-important question of why we remain fascinated with literature in general and with the specific texts that to us are still its backbone. Siituated in the aftermath of New Historicism, the book challenges the idea that literary history as a reading practice stems from a desire to 'speak with the dead'. Key Features * Offers a broad survey (a combination of classical literature, Renaissance literature and modern theory and history) * Issues a plea for the importance of reading literary texts and the power of literature * Discusses key figues from the Western canon - Homer, Virgil, Dante, Machiavelli - in light of the idea that we can learn from the past by talking to 'the dead' * Combines theoretical discussions of the relationsip between literature and history with close reading of works by major literary authors and historians.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 176 pages
  • 158 x 234 x 20mm | 421.85g
  • EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0748615881
  • 9780748615889

About Jurgen Pieters

Jurgen Pieters teaches literary theory and cultural history at the University of Ghent, Belgium. He is the author of Moments of Negotiation. The New Historicism of Stephen Greenblatt (Amsterdam University Press, 2001).show more

Review quote

Speaking With the Dead gives an eloquent account of the pastA's uncanny power to come alive in the present. This engaging book, genuinely international and transhistorical in its range of reference, never forgets the specific circumstances of the moments it defines or the current issues it addresses. -- Catherine Belsey, School of English, Communication and Philosophy, Cardiff University Jurgen Pieters' illuminating book is of compelling interest to anyone who has ever experienced, in encountering the traces of the past, the shiver of communion with people who no longer breathe the life-giving air. Speaking with the Dead deftly explores the rich record of this experience in the writing from Dante and Petrarch to Michelet and Roland Barthes. The remarkable Renaissance genius, Constantijn Huygens, like many of the figures in this book, claimed that his deepest and most abiding friendships were with the dead. Pieters' thoughtful and probing analysis enables us to grasp the significance, complexity, and poignancy of this claim. -- Stephen Greenblatt, Cogan University Professor of the Humanities, Harvard University Speaking With the Dead gives an eloquent account of the pastA's uncanny power to come alive in the present. This engaging book, genuinely international and transhistorical in its range of reference, never forgets the specific circumstances of the moments it defines or the current issues it addresses. Jurgen Pieters' illuminating book is of compelling interest to anyone who has ever experienced, in encountering the traces of the past, the shiver of communion with people who no longer breathe the life-giving air. Speaking with the Dead deftly explores the rich record of this experience in the writing from Dante and Petrarch to Michelet and Roland Barthes. The remarkable Renaissance genius, Constantijn Huygens, like many of the figures in this book, claimed that his deepest and most abiding friendships were with the dead. Pieters' thoughtful and probing analysis enables us to grasp the significance, complexity, and poignancy of this claim.show more

Table of contents

Table of Contents; Introduction; Chapter 1: Among Ancient Men (Petrarch, Machiavelli, Sidney and Huygens); Chapter 2: The Gaze of Medusa and the Practice of the Historian (Rubens and Huygens); Chapter 3: The Historical Shiver (Flaubert, Michelet and Keats); Chapter 4: 'Now Let Us Go Into This Blind World' (Dante, Virgil, Homer and T. S. Eliot); Chapter 5: The Sounds of Silence (Roland Barthes); Epilogue; Index.show more

Rating details

2 ratings
3 out of 5 stars
5 0% (0)
4 0% (0)
3 100% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X