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Cover Art
Author Reilly, Patrick Author.

Title Bills of Mortality Disease and Destiny in Plague Literature from Early Modern to Postmodern Times Patrick Reilly [electronic resource]

Published New York Peter Lang Inc., International Academic Publishers 201507


Location Call No. Status
Edition 1st, New ed.
Physical description 211 p.
Series Currents in Comparative Romance Languages and Literatures 223
Contents Contents: Authoring Destiny – Out of Sortes: A Journal of the Plague Year – The Fourth Horseman: The Betrothed – Dead on Arrival: Death in Venice – The Doctor’s Dilemma: The Plague – How to Survive a Plague: Angels in America – The Conversation.
Summary Bills of Mortality: Disease and Destiny in Plague Literature from Early Modern to Postmodern Times explores the dynamic between the fact of plague and the constructs of destiny deadly disease generates in literary texts ranging from Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year to Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. The volume is of interest to readers in both literary and scientific, especially medical, fields. In addition, it serves as an accessible introduction to plague literature and to the arena in which it has evolved since ancient times. To undergraduate and graduate students, Bills of Mortality affords an opportunity for scholarly engagement in a topic no less timely now than it was when plague struck Milan in 1629 or ravaged Venice in 1912 or felled Thebes in antiquity.
«To study plagues is to understand narratives. With ‘Bills of Mortality’, Patrick Reilly illuminates literary encounters with pestilence over a period of three centuries. Brilliantly informative, this book illustrates how plague, metaphor for the incomprehensible, is ceaselessly renewed when we tell stories about why some die and others do not.» (Philip Alcabes, Professor of Public Health, Adelphi University; Author of ‘Dread: How Fear and Fantasy Have Fueled Epidemics from the Black Death to Avian Flu’) «How can the aesthetic representation of the unspeakable be done? How will our own present day’s plagues (physical, religious, political, etc.) be told in the future? Confronting this reality involves seeing how this was done in history and, in so doing, helps us understand the healing process. Patrick Reilly’s ‘Bills of Mortality’ is a panoramic survey and an outstanding analysis of such foremost plague narratives from ancient times to our present day, impeccably researched and written, to help us understand why and how these representations are of vital importance.» (Norbert Sclippa, Professor of French, College of Charleston, South Carolina) «A thoroughly focused discussion of the nature of plague literature, ‘Bills of Mortality’ concentrates on pivotal texts and the significant role that the aesthetics of metaphor plays in interpreting their meaning. Patrick Reilly presents a convincing analysis that reaches beyond the fictional and into the social, cultural, and political background of each work he discusses.» (A. Nicholas Fargnoli, Dean of Humanities, Molloy College; President, The James Joyce Society)
History notes Patrick Reilly, PhD City University of New York, teaches in the English Department at Baruch College, CUNY. His articles have appeared in Journal for Camus Studies, The James Joyce Quarterly, Lire Sade, and Italica.
ISBN 9781453912829
Standard Number 9781453912829