Rituals of Mourning



Both T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land (1922) and Virginia Woolf’s Jacob’s Room (1922) detail the impossibilities of memorialising absence in textual form, representing instead the transmutation of private mourning into public trauma. This chapter considers these two works of the modernist annus mirabilis and their bold contestations of masculine potency and action in the context of rituals of mourning include cremation, embalming, and war memorials. These two texts are, in many ways, antithetical in their portrayal of mourning and gesture toward new models of memorialisation through radical experimentation with excision as a primary element of literary expression.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SurreyGuildfordUK

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