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Musings on Mortality: From Tolstoy to Primo Levi

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9780226323824
Author(s): Victor Brombert
Format: Paperback
Year: 2015
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Pages: 200

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Description:
\u201cAll art and the love of art,\u201d Victor Brombert writes at the beginning of the deeply personal Musings on Mortality, \u201callow us to negate our nothingness.\u201d As a young man returning from World War II, Brombert came to understand this truth as he immersed himself in literature. Death can be found everywhere in literature, he saw, but literature itself is on the side of life. With delicacy and penetrating insight, Brombert traces the theme of mortality in the work of a group of authors who wrote during the past century and a half, teasing out and comparing their views of death as they emerged from vastly different cultural contexts. Leo Tolstoy, Thomas Mann, Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf, Albert Camus, Giorgio Bassani, J. M. Coetzee, and Primo Leviâthese are the writers whose works Brombert plumbs, illuminating their views on the meaning of life and the human condition.
But there is more to their work, he shows, than a pervasive interest in mortality: they wrote not only of physical death but also of the threat of moral and spiritual deathâand as the twentieth century progressed, they increasingly reflected on the traumatic events of their times and the growing sense of a collective historical tragedy. He probes the individual struggle with death, for example, through Tolstoy's Ivan Ilych and Mann's Aschenbach, while he explores the destruction of whole civilizations in Bassani, Camus, and Primo Levi. For Kafka and Woolf, wri Please click here to ask a question
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