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The savage god : a study of suicide / by A. Alvarez.

1st American ed.. New York : Random House, [1972] .
ISBN 9780394474519, 0394474511

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Subjects Letterkunde.
Literaire thema's.
Selbstmord (Motiv)
Suicide in literature.
Description xviii, 299 pages ; 22 cm
Copyright Date [1972]
Notes Originally published: London : Weidenfeld and Nicolson, ©1971.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 287-294) and index.
Summary This book explores suicide as it has never been described before. It is a deep compassionate insight into the realm of self-destruction from a personal, literary, and existential point of view. The author dispels the preconception that suicide is either a terrifying aberration or something to be ignored altogether. He documents and explores historically man's changing attitudes toward suicide: from the various primitive societies, the Greek and Roman cultures, to the development of the suicidal martyrdom of the early Christian church, the later concept of suicide as a mortal sin to be savagely punished, and the counterrevolutionary attitude of the late nineteenth century which shifted the responsibility of suicide from the individual to society. He continues with a discussion of the theories which have been developed about suicide. From there, he explores the minds and emotional states of Dante, Cowper, Donne, Chatterton, and others, explaining the death trend in their works. He sees revealed in literature the voyage of the suicide in past centuries and today. He returns to a personal view of suicide at the close of the book as he chronicles his attempt on his own life. He brings the reader through a journey where one sees the act of suicide as the end of a long experience, an emptiness so isolated and violent--making life into such a paper-thin reality--that it surrenders.-- From publisher's description.
Contents Prologue: Sylvia Plath -- part 2. The background -- part 3. The closed world of suicide: fallacies -- Theories -- Feelings -- part 4. Suicide and literature: Dante and the Middle Ages -- John Donne and the Renaissance -- William Cowper, Thomas Chatterton and the age of reason -- The romantic agony -- Tomorrow's zero: the transition to the twentieth centruy -- Dada: suicide as an art -- The savage God -- part 5. Letting go.
Network Numbers (OCoLC)308499
WorldCat Search OCLC WorldCat
WorldCat Identities Alvarez, A. 1929-
Publication timeline, list of works, related names and subjects and other information


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