In this illustrated historical survey of the image of death in art and literature Karl S. Guthke assesses the significance of the various personifications of death in different ages and cultures, as male or female, enemy or lover, friend or avenger, angel or devil. Guthke shows that such images are reflections of the life and cultures that produced them, and through them he offers astonishing new insights into the nature and perception of the Western self in its cultural, intellectual, and literary context.Read more
- Four-colour cover
- Extensive illustrations
- First book-length study of a topic of enormous relevance to Western literature, art, and culture
- Very accessible: well written and well illustrated
- Author is a leading scholar of European literature and culture, whose earlier work has sold well and been respected by an academic as well as a general readership
- Of the German original Frankfurter Rundschau said 'Guthke entices the reader from chapter to chapter by means of his superior technique and brilliant style.'
Reviews & endorsements
'[Guthke] entices the reader from chapter to chapter by means of his superior technique and brilliant style.' Frankfurter RundschauSee more reviews
'A rich array of examples of the personification of death in (mainly) European cultures. … An eclectic and erudite survey of images of death as a hunter, horseman, lover, bridegroom, or chess-player.' The Times Literary Supplement
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- Date Published: March 1999
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521644600
- length: 312 pages
- dimensions: 244 x 170 x 17 mm
- weight: 0.5kg
- contains: 30 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Introduction: why this book? 1. Imagining the unimaginable: death personified
2. The Middle Ages: the unfortunate Fall
3. Renaissance and Baroque: the devil incarnate
4. The Romantic age: 'How wonderful is death'
5. From decadence to postmodernity: the stranger at the masked ball
Epilogue: death immortalising life.
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