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Pericles Lewis: Burial of the Dead in the Modern Novel

Pericles Lewis

Date of Lecture: February 12, 2013

About the Speaker: Pericles Lewis, formerly professor of comparative literature at Yale University, has been named founding president and professor of humanities at Yale-NUS, a new liberal arts college opening in Singapore, in partnership with Yale University and the National University of Singapore. He has published three books: "Modernism, Nationalism, and the Novel" (Cambridge University Press, 2000), "The Cambridge Introduction to Modernism" (Cambridge University Press, 2007), and "Religious Experience and the Modernist Novel" (Cambridge University Press, 2010). He is the editor of the Cambridge Companion to European Modernism (2011) and 20th-century editor for new editions of the Norton Anthology of World Literature (2012) and the Norton Anthology of Western Literature (2013).

About the Talk: Prof. Lewis looks at the treatment of death rituals in the work of authors such as James Joyce, Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka, and Thomas Mann. Rethinking the secularization thesis as it has been applied to modern fiction, he explores the fascination with Pagan and especially Homeric accounts of death as an alternative to Christianity, and the awareness of the potential of the novel form for ironic treatment of rites surrounding death.

This talk was one of the Deitchman Family Lectures on Religion and Modernity.

Watch the video of the lecture below or download it free from iTunes U.