Grief, Identity, and the Arts

A Multidisciplinary Perspective on Expressions of Grief


Death and grief have often elicited the response of creativity, from elegies and requiems to memorial architecture. Such artistic expressions of grief form the focus of Grief, Identity, and the Arts, which brings together scholars from the disciplines of musicology, literature, sociology, film studies, social work, and museum studies. While presenting one or more case studies from a range of artistic disciplines, historical periods, or geographical areas, each chapter addresses the interdependence of grief and identity in the arts. The volume as a whole shows how artistic expressions of grief are both influenced by and contribute to constructions of religious, national, familial, social, and artistic identities.

Contributors to this volume: Tammy Clewell, Lizet Duyvendak, David Gist, Maryam Haiawi, Owen Hansen, Maggie Jackson, Christoph Jedan, Bram Lambrecht, Carlo Leo, Wolfgang Marx, Tijl Nuyts, Despoina Papastathi, Julia Płaczkiewicz, Bavjola Shatro, Caroline Supply, Nicolette van den Bogerd, Eric Venbrux, Janneke Weijermars, Miriam Wendling, and Mariske Westendorp.

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Bram Lambrecht, Ph.D. (2017, KU Leuven) is assistant professor at Ghent University. His research focuses on translation, poetry, and popular culture in the Low Countries of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. He has a particular interest in poetry of mourning.

Miriam Wendling, Ph.D. (2012, University of Cambridge) is a research associate at KU Leuven. Her research focuses on music and liturgy for death in Germany and the Low Countries in the Middle Ages.
List of Figures
Notes on the Editors and Contributors

1 Grief, Identity, and the Arts in the West: An Introduction
Bram Lambrecht and Miriam Wendling

PART 1: Collective Religious Identities

Introduction to Part 1

2 The Arts of Inclusion and Exclusion: Funerary Art Taken from the Example of the Municipal Cemetery Tongerseweg Maastricht
Christoph Jedan, Mariske Westendorp and Eric Venbrux
3 Mary’s Grief in 18th-Century Passion Oratorios: Some Notes on Its Confessional and Interconfessional Aspects
Maryam Haiawi
4 The Composer as Intellectual: Biblical Interpretation and Jewish Martyrdom in Alexandre Tansman’s Isaïe le prophète
Nicolette van den Bogerd

PART 2: Personal Religious Identities

Introduction to Part 2

5 Reaching Towards Heaven: An Examination of Robert Schumann’s Views About Religion in his Requiem in D-Flat Major, Op. 148
Owen Hansen
6 “The Rustling in the Trees Is / Not the Rustling in the Trees / It Is Your Voice”
Mystical Relationality and the Liquid Poetics of Postsecular Mourning in Joost Baars’s Binnenplaats [Enclosure] (2017)
Tijl Nuyts

PART 3: National Identities

Introduction to Part 3

7 Here is Their Spirit: Contemporary Expressions of Grief at the Australian War Memorial
David Gist
8 Mary Vitali “fidanzata dei morti”: An Investigation into the Genre of Grief Memoirs in Gabriele d’Annunzio’s Fiume
Carlo Leo
9 Politics, Memory, and Grief in Contemporary Albanian Autobiographic Writing
Live to Tell; A True Story of Religious Persecution in Communist Albania by Fr Zef Pllumi
Bavjola Shatro

PART 4: Family Identities/The Inner Circle

Introduction to Part 4

10 Conjugal Mourning in French Neo-Latin Poetry: A Reading of Louis Des Masures’s Carmen 29
Caroline Supply
11 The Empty Chair in Children’s Picture Books: More Than Just a “Classic Image”
Maggie Jackson
12 The Horror of Grief: Monstrous Effects of Unaddressed Grief in Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook
Julia Paczkiewicz
13 Dutch Mourning Poetry in the 19th Century: The Case of Prudens van Duyse’s Natalia (1842)
Janneke Weijermars

PART 5: Social/Societal Identities

Introduction to Part 5

14 Mourning Someone You Never Knew: A Gesture of Civilization
Lizet Duyvendak
15 Contested Legacies of Modernist Memorialization: The May 4 Memorial
Tammy Clewell

PART 6: Identities of a Genre/Artistic Identity

Introduction to Part 6

16 The Elegiac Poetry of Kiki Dimoula and the Visual Arts
Despoina Papastathi
17 Musical Representations of Grief and Death
Wolfgang Marx

For all scholars, students, and libraries in the humanities (musicology, literature, history, art history, cultural studies, etc.) as well as professionals involved in the grief and funeral industries. Keywords: music, literature, poetry, history, film, graves, tombs, memory, epitaph, necrology, eulogy, politics, religion.
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