Cover of The Ends of Mourning by Alessia Ricciardi
The Ends of Mourning
Psychoanalysis, Literature, Film
Alessia Ricciardi


280 pages.
from $30.00

Hardcover ISBN: 9780804747769
Paperback ISBN: 9780804747776



Winner of the 2003 Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Comparative Literary Studies, sponsored by the Modern Language Association.

The Ends of Mourning explores from an interdisciplinary perspective the contemporary crisis of mourning. In an age skeptical of history and memory, we relate to the past only as a spectacle, a product to be consumed in the cultural marketplace.

The book charts the emergence and development of the problem of mourning in the writings of Freud, Proust, and Freud's successor Lacan. Freud's idea of "sorrow work" and Proust's concept of involuntary memory defined the terms of the classic modernist account of mourning in the fields of psychoanalysis and literature. Yet their insistence on the egotistical aspects of loss to the exclusion of all ethical and political considerations threatens the dissolution of the question of mourning.

About the author

Alessia Ricciardi is Assistant Professor in the Department of French and Italian at Northwestern University.