Swimming in a Sea of Death

Author: David Rieff

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1416554289

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 364

View: 1897

Both a memoir and an investigation, Swimming in a Sea of Death is David Rieff's loving tribute to his mother, the writer Susan Sontag, and her final battle with cancer. Rieff's brave, passionate, and unsparing witness of the last nine months of her life, from her initial diagnosis to her death, is both an intensely personal portrait of the relationship between a mother and a son, and a reflection on what it is like to try to help someone gravely ill in her fight to go on living and, when the time comes, to die with dignity. Rieff offers no easy answers. Instead, his intensely personal book is a meditation on what it means to confront death in our culture. In his most profound work, this brilliant writer confronts the blunt feelings of the survivor -- the guilt, the self-questioning, the sense of not having done enough. And he tries to understand what it means to desire so desperately, as his mother did to the end of her life, to try almost anything in order to go on living. Drawing on his mother's heroic struggle, paying tribute to her doctors' ingenuity and faithfulness, and determined to tell what happened to them all, Swimming in a Sea of Death subtly draws wider lessons that will be of value to others when they find themselves in the same situation.

Swimming In A Sea Of Death

Author: David Rieff

Publisher: Granta Books

ISBN: 1847089445

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: N.A

View: 7768

In spring 2004, Susan Sontag was diagnosed with the incurable blood cancer. She had a huge appetite for experience, and a wild, extravagant desire to live. Rieff writes movingly about being by her side during that last year and at her death, and about his own contradictory emotions: his guilt both for not consoling her enough, and for somehow colluding with her in her belief that she could beat the disease. Drawing on Sontag's journals and letters, which Rieff read after her death, and on the writings about the deaths of other great thinkers, Swimming in a Sea of Death provides a vivid portrait of Sontag in the last year of her life and a haunting meditation on mortality.

Love, Mortality and the Moving Image

Author: E. Wilson

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 0230367704

Category: Art

Page: 184

View: 729

In their use of home movies, collages of photographs and live footage, moving image artists explore the wish to see dead loved ones living. This study closely explores emotions and sensations surrounding mortality and longing, with new readings of works by Agnès Varda, Pedro Almodóvar, Ingmar Bergman, Sophie Calle, and many others.

About Grief

Author: Ron Marasco,Brian Shuff

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 1566638585

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 225

View: 9745

About Grief is an unorthodox learning approach to a difficult and profoundly human experience. The authors are not physicians or psychologists, so the book is without clinical jargon. It is not a memoir of personal grief, so there is no wrenching saga to work through. And it is not a touchy-feely inspirational book, so, as the authors put it, "There are no doves on the jacket." Using a variety ofsources from literature, drama, poetry, music, and interviews with grieving persons, the authors distill into plain terms and a user-friendly format some of the unspoken discoveries about grief. The book looks past the solemnity of grief to its messier aspects: the practical matters to sort out, the high-maintenance relatives to wrangle, the ugly feelings to vent. And it looks past the sadness of grief to its epiphanies: the personal lessons, the transformations, the intensifications of love. About Grief is composed of four chapters, each made up of straightforward essays that can be read in a single sitting. Chapter 1 explains the new normality that a grieving person experiences (e.g., stigma, presence, empathy), Chapter 2 talks about processing those things honestly (e.g., panic, sentimentality, shame, mistakes). Chapter 3 identifies some of the common consolations that grieving people find to help them soldier on (e.g., indulgence, sports, cynicism, rest). Chapter 4 explores grief's various forms of expression (e.g., self-narrative, gender, religion, music). As a bereavement group leader recently said of About Grief, "This book is different. I can't recommend it highly enough." Different in approach, perspective, style. We begin with a moment from the last scene of Shakespeare's King Lear. In Act V the elderly monarch walks on stage carrying his daughter Cordelia, dead in his arms. This is an iconic image of tragic loss, a metaphor for "the weight of grief." Grief is weight.

Illness as Narrative

Author: Ann Jurecic

Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Pre

ISBN: 0822977869

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 224

View: 1891

For most of literary history, personal confessions about illness were considered too intimate to share publicly. By the mid-twentieth century, however, a series of events set the stage for the emergence of the illness narrative. The increase of chronic disease, the transformation of medicine into big business, the women’s health movement, the AIDS/HIV pandemic, the advent of inexpensive paperbacks, and the rise of self-publishing all contributed to the proliferation of narratives about encounters with medicine and mortality. While the illness narrative is now a staple of the publishing industry, the genre itself has posed a problem for literary studies. What is the role of criticism in relation to personal accounts of suffering? Can these narratives be judged on aesthetic grounds? Are they a collective expression of the lost intimacy of the patient-doctor relationship? Is their function thus instrumental—to elicit the reader’s empathy? To answer these questions, Ann Jurecic turns to major works on pain and suffering by Susan Sontag, Elaine Scarry, and Eve Sedgwick and reads these alongside illness narratives by Jean-Dominique Bauby, Reynolds Price, and Anne Fadiman, among others. In the process, she defines the subgenres of risk and pain narratives and explores a range of critical responses guided, alternately, by narrative empathy, the hermeneutics of suspicion, and the practice of reparative reading. Illness as Narrative seeks to draw wider attention to this form of life writing and to argue for new approaches to both literary criticism and teaching narrative. Jurecic calls for a practice that’s both compassionate and critical. She asks that we consider why writers compose stories of illness, how readers receive them, and how both use these narratives to make meaning of human fragility and mortality.

End-of-Life Care and Pragmatic Decision Making

Author: D. Micah Hester

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139483803

Category: Philosophy

Page: N.A

View: 1704

Every one of us will die, and the processes we go through will be our own - unique to our own experiences and life stories. End-of-Life Care and Pragmatic Decision Making provides a pragmatic philosophical framework based on a radically empirical attitude toward life and death. D. Micah Hester takes seriously the complexities of experiences and argues that when making end-of-life decisions, healthcare providers ought to pay close attention to the narratives of patients and the communities they inhabit so that their dying processes embody their life stories. He discusses three types of end-of-life patient populations - adults with decision-making capacity, adults without capacity, and children (with a strong focus on infants) - to show the implications of pragmatic empiricism and the scope of decision making at the end of life for different types of patients.


Author: Mary K. DeShazer

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

ISBN: 047211882X

Category: Health & Fitness

Page: 256

View: 8015

While breast cancer continues to affect the lives of millions, contemporary writers and artists have responded to the ravages of the disease in creative expression. Mary K. DeShazer’s book looks specifically at breast cancer memoirs and photographic narratives, a category she refers to as mammographies, signifying both the imaging technology by which most Western women discover they have this disease and the documentary imperatives that drive their written and visual accounts of it. Mammographies argues that breast cancer narratives of the past ten years differ from their predecessors in their bold address of previously neglected topics such as the link between cancer and environmental carcinogens, the ethics and efficacy of genetic testing and prophylactic mastectomy, and the shifting politics of prosthesis and reconstruction. Mammographies is distinctive among studies of contemporary illness narratives in its exclusive focus on breast cancer, its analysis of both memoirs and photographic texts, its attention to hybrid and collaborative narratives, and its emphasis on ecological, genetic, transnational, queer, and anti-pink discourses. DeShazer’s methodology—best characterized as literary critical, feminist, and interdisciplinary—includes detailed interpretation of the narrative strategies, thematic contours, and visual imagery of a wide range of contemporary breast cancer memoirs and photographic anthologies. The author explores the ways in which the narratives constitute a distinctive testimonial and memorial tradition, a claim supported by close readings and theoretical analysis that demonstrates how these narratives question hegemonic cultural discourses, empower reader-viewers as empathic witnesses, and provide communal sites for mourning, resisting, and remembering.

Developing Holistic Care for Long-term Conditions

Author: Carl Margereson,Steve Trenoweth

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135270368

Category: Medical

Page: 385

View: 585

Comprising four sections, this text introduces the policy and background to caring for people with chronic illness as well as the psychosocial impact of long-term conditions. Essential skills for practice are explored including holistic assessment, symptom control and the promotion of effective partnership between client and carer in supporting coping, recovery and end of life care. There is an emphasis on maximising individual health potential and resilience with the role of nutrition, exercise, complementary therapy and spirituality considered. The focus is on client centred care which addresses the whole person, mind and body. The extensive final section presents examples of key health issues where UK national guidelines have been published including: Long-term neurological conditions, Diabetes, Mental health, Cancer, Coronary heart disease, Older people.

Susan Sontag

Author: Jerome Boyd Maunsell

Publisher: Reaktion Books

ISBN: 1780233299

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 224

View: 6902

“My idea of a writer: someone interested in ‘everything.’” This declaration by Susan Sontag (1933–2004) seemed to reflect her own life as an essayist, diarist, filmmaker, playwright, and novelist writing on a startling range of topics—from literature, dance, film, and painting to cancer, AIDS, and the ethics of war reportage. For many critics, her work captures the twentieth-century world better than almost any other. In this new biography, Jerome Boyd Maunsell draws on Sontag’s extensive diaries to offer a far more intimate portrait than ever before of her struggles in love, marriage, motherhood, and writing. Exploring the astonishing scope of Sontag’s life and work, Maunsell traces her growth during her intellectual career at Chicago, Oxford, and the Sorbonne. He discusses her short-lived marriage to Philip Rieff at seventeen, the birth of her son, and her subsequent relationships with women. As Maunsell follows the extraordinary arc of her life, he delves into her literary life in New York in the 1960s; travels with her to Hanoi, Cuba, and China; and surveys her work in Sweden and France in the 1970s, where she turned to filmmaking. Maunsell concludes by examining her miraculous rebirth as a novelist and critic in the 1980s and ’90s after her diagnosis with cancer in the mid-1970s. Providing a full picture of Sontag as a private person and public figure, this concise biography casts new light on this pivotal figure in literary and cultural history.

Children of the Sea

Author: Peter Aitchison

Publisher: Dundurn

ISBN: 9781862322400

Category: History

Page: 292

View: 2931

One hundred and eighty-nine men drowned in a single afternoon in Scotland's worst fishing disaster. It is a forgotten part of the nation's past, yet it happened just a hundred and twenty years ago. It decimated the coastal community of Eyemouth where the effects of Black Friday are felt to this day. Children of the Sea is the remarkable story of a village on the margins of the sea and at the edge of the country. It is a tale of survival through the wars of independence and the witch-hunts of the seventeenth century; of danger and high jinks when Eyemouth was the centre of a massive smuggling ring; and above all of the hope and tragedy of fishing and of battles with the minister. It is a story of a people who fought to survive, and whose voice can now be heard, from tales handed down through the generations.