Death in literature  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
death in art, death and culture



Dialogues of the Dead by Lucian is a collection of thirty vignettes about death by Lucian. They are set in Hades.

Middle Ages


Ars moriendi ("The Art of Dying") is the name of two related Latin texts dating from about 1415 and 1450 which offer advice on the protocols and procedures of a good death and on how to "die well", according to Christian precepts of the late Middle Ages. It was written within the historical context of the effects of the macabre horrors of the Black Death 60 years earlier and consequent social upheavals of the 15th century. It was very popular, translated into most West European languages, and was the first in a western literary tradition of guides to death and dying.

20th century

In the present day, death is portrayed in many mediums of popular fiction. One of the most iconic portrayals is that of the 1957 film The Seventh Seal, by Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. It is an influential (and heavily symbolic) movie depicting one of the most famous moments in the portrayal of Death. In the movie, a medieval knight returning from a crusade plays a game of chess with Death, with the knight's life depending upon the outcome of the game. American film critic Roger Ebert remarked that this image "[is] so perfect it has survived countless parodies."

The novel Death with Interruptions by José Saramago centers around death as both a phenomenon, and as a character herself. A key focus of the book is how society relates to death in both of these forms, and likewise, how death relates to the people she is meant to kill. Atypical in the story is that death is a woman.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Death in literature" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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