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Book Talk: Arts of Dying: Literature and Finitude in Medieval England

D. Vance Smith, English; Andrew Cole, English

April 23, 2020 · 6:00 pm · Labyrinth Books

Labyrinth Books; Humanities Council

People in the Middle Ages had chantry chapels, mortuary rolls, the daily observance of the Office of the Dead, and even purgatorybut they were still unable to talk about death. Their inability wasn’t due to religion, but philosophy: saying someone is dead is nonsense, as the person no longer is. The one thing that can talk about something that is not, as D. Vance Smith (English) shows in his new book and will explain more in a conversation with his colleague Andrew Cole (English), is literature.

 

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