Ambrose Bierce and the dance of death

by Talley, Sharon, 1952-

Format: Print Book 2009
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PS1097.Z5 T34 2009
Location  CLP - Main Library
 
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
 
Call Number  PS1097.Z5 T34 2009
 
 
Summary

Ambrose Bierce and the Dance of Death uses psychoanalytic theory in combination with historical, cultural, and literary contexts to examine the complex motif of death in a full range of Bierce's writings. Scholarly interest in Bierce, whose work has long been undervalued, has grown significantly in recent years. This new book contributes to the ongoing reassessment by providing new contexts for joining the texts in his canon in meaningful ways.

Previous attempts to consider Bierce from a psychological perspective have been superficial, often reductive Freudian readings of individual stories such as "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" and "The Death of Halpin Frayser." This new volume not only updates these interpretations with insights from post-Freudian theorists but uses contemporary death theory as a framework to analyze the sources and expressions of Bierce's attitudes about death and dying. This approach makes it possible to discern links among texts that resolve some of the still puzzling ambiguities that have--until now--precluded a fuller understanding of both the man and his writings.

Lively and engaging, Ambrose Bierce and the Dance of Death adds valuable new insights not only to the study of Bierce but to that of nineteenth-century American literature in general.

Contents
Childhood and the fear of death in the Parenticide Club and "Visions of the Night"
The failed journey to self-understanding in "The death of Halpin Frayser"
Sacred to death: tales of terror from In the Midst of Life
Doubling death: seeking the immortal self in stories from Can such things be?
Courage and cowardice: facing death in Bierce's early Civil War writings
Death before dishonor: seasoned soldiers and the burden of heroism
Collateral damage: civilians and the human cost of war
Seeking death: tales of suicidal war heroes
Surviving war: "Phantoms of a blood-stained period" and posttraumatic stress disorder
Bierce's final dance of death.

Additional Information
Subjects Bierce, Ambrose, -- 1842-1914? -- Criticism and interpretation.
Death in literature.
Fear of death in literature.
War stories, American -- History and criticism.
War in literature.
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Literature and the war.
Publisher Knoxville :University of Tennessee Press,2009
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description xviii, 160 pages ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 9781572336803
1572336803
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