Tag Archives: Death of Ivan Ilych

Please Go Gentle into That Good Night

Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle” can be read as a narcissistic desire by young people that their elders will go out on young people’s terms.

Posted in Marlowe (Christopher), Thomas (Dylan), Tolstoy (Leo) | Also tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Trusting that Good Can Come from Ill

Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus What have I learned about literature and pain this past week? First, that writers have taken up the topic, just as they take up every aspect of human existence. They imagine what it is like to feel pain and, through poetic images and fictional stories, convey that experience to readers. By entering […]

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Breaking through Pain’s Solitude

  I’ve had a chance to revisit the two classics that immediately came to mind the other day when I thought about literary depictions of pain.  Both were as powerful as I remember.  In D. H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers, the death of the mother goes on and on, page after page.  As her son […]

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Can We Imagine Another’s Pain?

In Friday’s post I mentioned how we read and discussed the first few pages of Elaine Scarry’s The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World in our most recent salon, held to support colleague Alan Paskow as he battles with cancer.  Scarry claims that language is inadequate when it comes to physical pain so […]

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