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Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck: Why We Can't Look Away

Eric G. Wilson

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Product Details
Format:
Paperback
ISBN:
9780374533700
Published:
01 Mar 2013
Publisher:
Macmillan
Dimensions:
224 pages - 183 x 121mm

Categories:

In Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck, the scholar Eric G. Wilson sets out to discover the source of our attraction to the gruesome, drawing on the findings of biologists, sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, philosophers, theologians, and artists. A professor of English literature and a lifelong student of the macabre, Wilson believes there’s something nourishing in darkness. “To repress death is to lose the feeling of life,” he writes. “A closeness to death discloses our most fertile energies.”

His examples are legion and startling in their diversity. Citing everything from elephant graveyards and Susan Sontag’s On Photography to the Tiger Woods sex scandal and Steel Magnolias, Wilson finds heartening truths wherever he confronts death. In Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck, the perverse is never far from the sublime. The result is a powerful and delightfully provocative defence of what it means to be human—for better and for worse.

9780374150334 (HB)
Eric G. Wilson is the Thomas H. Pritchard Professor of English at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He is the author of "Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy," "The Mercy of Eternity: A Memoir of Depression and Grace," and five books on the relationship between literature and psychology.
Why can’t we look away?

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