The Gender of Death: A Cultural History in Art and Literature

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Cambridge University Press, 1999 - 297 páginas
Why is it that in some cultures and times, literature, folklore, and art commonly represent death as a man, in others as a woman? Karl S. Guthke shows that these choices, which often contradict the grammatical gender of the word 'death' in the language concerned, are neither arbitrary nor accidental. In earlier centuries, the gender of the figure of death contributed to the interpretation of biblical narrative - in particular, whether the original sin was that of Adam or Eve - and also reflected the importance of the classical figure of Thanatos. More recently, the gender of death as angel, lover, or bride - whether terrifying or welcome - has carried powerful psychological and social connotations. Tracing the gender of representations of death in art and literature from medieval times to the present day, Guthke offers astonishing new insights into the nature and perception of the Western self in its cultural, intellectual, and literary context.

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Contenido

Why this book?
1
IMAGINING THE UNIMAGINABLE DEATH PERSONIFIED Is Death a woman?
7
THE MIDDLE AGES THE UNFORTUNATE FALL The wages of sin Adams sin or Eves?
36
RENAISSANCE AND BAROQUE THE DEVIL INCARNATE Death and the Maiden and the man
80
THE ROMANTIC AGE HOW WONDERFUL IS DEATH The youth with the downturned torch The last best friend Death in the bridal chamber
118
Death immortalizing life
240
Notes
245
Select bibliography
273
Index
278
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