Hurt and Pain: Literature and the Suffering Body (Hardback)
  • Hurt and Pain: Literature and the Suffering Body (Hardback)
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Hurt and Pain: Literature and the Suffering Body (Hardback)

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£85.00
Hardback 208 Pages / Published: 05/12/2013
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Hurt and Pain: Literature and the Suffering Body examines the strategies authors have used to portray bodies in pain, drawing on a diverse range of literary texts from the seventeenth century to the present day. Susannah B. Mintz provides readings of canonical writers including John Donne, Emily Dickinson, and Samuel Beckett, alongside contemporary writers such as Ana Castillo and Margaret Edson, focusing on how pain is shaped according to the conventions-and also experiments-of genre: poetry, memoir, drama, and fiction. With insights from disability theory and recent studies of the language of pain, Mintz delivers an important corrective to our most basic fears of physical suffering, revealing through literature that pain can be a source of connection, compassion, artistry, and knowledge. Not only an important investigation of authors' formal and rhetorical choices, Hurt and Pain reveals how capturing pain in literature can become a fundamental component of crafting human experience.

Publisher: Continuum Publishing Corporation
ISBN: 9781441174482
Number of pages: 208
Weight: 472 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Mintz points to, and develops, the work of Dickinson scholars such as Marianne Noble and Michael Snedicker, reassessing common interpretations of certain poems. Mintz's extensive, intricate knowledge of Dickinson's work [in particular] ... offers new critical insight into the poet's hurt and pain. * The Year's Work in English Studies *
Mintz offers a stimulating book that is convincing in its use of inspiring individual observations and its unusual combination of primary texts ... Her study provides a wealth of starting points for further interdisciplinary studies. * Arcadia (Bloomsbury translation) *
Susannah Mintz brings together poetry, memoir, drama and fiction to show that pain is "inescapable" and "magnificently variable" in the many ways it can destroy and affirm the power of language and selfhood. Discussing writers from John Donne and Emily Dickinson to the present day, she sets the personal experience of pain in tension with the medical understanding of pain. An informed, provocative, important book. * Sara van den Berg, Professor of English, Saint Louis University, USA *
After Elaine Scarry, it has become commonplace to say that pain defies expression - that it is essentially a private, and thus isolating, phenomenon. But, as Susannah Mintz demonstrates in this original, economical, and compelling study, creative writers have long brought their talents to bear on this inevitable human experience, rendering it according to the capabilities of various genres. Literature is no antidote to pain - no anodyne - but Mintz shows how the literary communication of pain may help us live through it and with it. A richly nuanced, beautifully written, and surprisingly heartening book. * Tom Couser, Professor Emeritus of English, Hofstra University, USA *
A brilliant analysis of pain refracted through genre, Hurt and Pain operates as itself a kind of pain scale-it weighs, measures, and strikes chords of familiar dissonance. In this pain-averse culture, those of us who wake up in pain every morning may feel in the wrong, blame-worthy, alone. Susannah Mintz intervenes in such ableist conceptualizations, offering community and solace through a kaleidoscope of aching, stinging, limping, grieving texts. Mintz resists the transcendence paradigm that tells us to rise above-or get over-our pain, reminding us through careful readings of poems, plays, novels, and memoirs that, beyond good and bad or right and wrong, pain is interesting. Far from the dismissive truism that misery loves company, Mintz clearly demonstrates that the literature of pain is, for many readers, a source of psychological support and palliative touch. * Merri Lisa Johnson, Associate Professor of Women's Studies, University of South Carolina, USA and author of Girl in Need of a Tourniquet: Memoir of a Borderline Personality *

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