Dead Lovers

Erotic Bonds and the Study of Premodern Europe
Edited by Basil Dufallo and Peggy McCracken
Explores the variety of bonds that are formed between writers and the figure of the dead lover


Dead Lovers explores the complex attachments to the figure of the dead lover in Western literature, art, and other forms of cultural expression from classical antiquity through the Middle Ages and into the early modern period. By reflecting on the study of dead lovers, the collection traces the development of themes and claims about our own investment in a "dead" but eroticized past that we seek to recover.

Basil Dufallo is Assistant Professor of Greek and Latin and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan.

Peggy McCracken is Professor of French and Women's Studies and Chair, Department of Romance Languages and Literature, at the University of Michigan.

Praise / Awards

  • "Dead Lovers features a series of innovative and brilliant insights that help us rethink traditions ranging from literatures of longing, nostalgia and necrophilia, to the metaphysics of memory and relationality in both premodern and contemporary contexts. This genuinely exceptional book is a must-read for anyone thinking through what it may mean, or have meant, to love in the face of death."
    ---Carla Mazzio, Department of English, University of Chicago
  • "A cross-disciplinary book that will provoke discussion about how we think of our own academic practices and our investment in them. The substance of the essays is cultural and literary history and aesthetics, informed by theoretical concerns, but not overdetermined by them. Readers from all of the fields touched upon in the book will learn from it."
    ---Sara S. Poor, Department of German, Princeton University
  • "Varied in their methodologies and far-ranging in the materials examined, these essays argue well for the strange richness of the figure of the dead lover in premodern European literature. Dead Lovers is a fascinating volume, engagingly written and interesting throughout. The book will interest classicists, early modernists, literary theorists, and anyone who has ever wondered why in great literature the best lovers are always deceased lovers."
    ---Jeffrey Cohen, Professor of English, George Washington University
  • "Lively, learned, and profoundly disturbing: irresistible reading for anyone who has ever been a lover and will someday be dead."
    ---Glenn Most, Visiting Professor in the Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago
  • "The texts gathered by Dufallo and McCracken offer us a stimulating point of departure to examine our deepest, yet perhaps most obvious, biases in how we select and examine our deepest, yet perhaps most obvious, biases in how we select and examine our objects of study.  This collection transcends disciplinary and chronological boundaries, constituting a necessary tool for all of us working in the humanities."
    ---Maria Galli Stampino, Modern Philology

Look Inside

Copyright © 2006, University of Michigan. All rights reserved. Posted September 2006.

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Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 180pp.
  • 1 illustration and 2 line drawings.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2006
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-11560-0

Add to Cart
  • $84.95 U.S.