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The Final Crossing

Death and Dying in Literature


John J. Han and Clark C. Triplett

Since ancient times, writers and poets have grappled with death, dying, grief, and mourning in their works. The Final Crossing: Death and Dying in Literature compiles fifteen in-depth, scholarly, and original essays on death and dying in literature from around the globe and from different time periods. Written from a variety of critical perspectives, the essays target both scholars and serious students. Death and dying is an important area of study for a variety of disciplines, including psychology, psychiatry, sociology, gerontology, medical ethics, healthcare science, health law, and literary studies. The Final Crossing is a landmark compendium of academic essays on death and dying in literary texts, such as the Iliad, Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān, Hamlet, The Secret Garden, and The Grapes of Wrath. This collection of essays not only brings an international flavor, but also a unique angularity to the discourse on thanatology. The novelty of perspectives reflects the diverse cultural and intellectual backgrounds of the contributors. This diversity opens up a fresh conversation on a number of age-old questions related to «the final crossing.» In this volume, readers will find an intriguing array of topics for further reflection and research.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

The final crossing: death and dying in literature / edited by John J. Han, C. Clark Triplett. pages cm. — (Studies on themes and motifs in literature; v. 124) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Death in literature. 2. Grief in literature. 3. Loss (Psychology) in literature. 4. Mortality in literature. 5. Literature—History and criticism. I. Han, John J., editor. II. Triplett, C. Clark, editor. III. Title: Death and dying in literature. PN56.D4F56 809’.933548—dc23 2015014327 ISBN 978-1-4331-3015-1 (hardcover) ISBN 978-1-4539-1553-0 (e-book) ISSN 1056-3970

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

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