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Mourning Diary Paperback – March 13, 2012
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“A revelation to readers of the great Barthes.” ―Judith Thurman, The New Yorker podcast
“This book's unvarnished quality is the source of its wrecking cumulative power. Barthes's ironic intellect is here wrapped around his nakedly beating heart.” ―Dwight Garner, The New York Times
“Precise and touching memories intersect with spare and at times desperate notes on time, death and grief, written despite ‘the fear of making literature out of it.'” ―Julian Barnes, The Times Literary Supplement
“A collection of aphorisms, sadnesses, self-analysis: a journal of savage intimacy.” ―Adam Thirlwell, The New Republic
“A beautiful, lapidary portrait of mourning.” ―Meghan O'Rourke, Slate
Top Customer Reviews
Self-help books abound on death, particularly the death of spouses and children. There are almost no books on the death of parents, but the fact is that the death of parents (particularly if one had a close, loving relationship with the parents) is a dramatic and life-changing event. Nothing will ever be the same after the death of parents.
In his diary, Barthes is open about his feelings. Often his entries are one-liners, but always are clearly expressed. It explains the feelings of a survivor moving through mourning, which is something I was grateful for, after having read so many books intended to serve as self-help models on how to overcome the feelings that come with mourning. Whether religiously-based or secular, most books for mourners can't help but bash mourners on the head just a little bit about how they "must" see the person is in "a better place," and how they should start taking steps to "move on" and away from the person that passed. They dwell on this, while softening the blow by saying that one shouldn't hurry. Prodding the mourner to stop it already, as if the mourner could stop the mourning behavior, or as if mourning were some sort of self-imposed toxic behavior, is what most books about death focus on. It can make a mourner feel a bit crazy to have this subtle get-over-it encouragement. Mourning is neither self-imposed, nor is it toxic to feel what is natural to be felt upon losing a very loved person that was an integral part of one's life.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An account of grief as unpredictable and scattershot as the feeling itself - captured in small memories, stray thoughts, moments where Barthes believed he couldn't go on. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Charles Finch
Few could describe the journey of mourning as Barthes can. Beautifully written.Published 17 months ago by Kas Foster