New Book by Prof. Diana Fuss

In Dying Modern, Diana Fuss identifies three distinct but largely unrecognized voices within the well-studied genre of the elegy: the dying voice, the reviving voice, and the surviving voice. Fuss unveils the dramatic within the elegiac: the dying diva who relishes a great deathbed scene, the speaking corpse who fancies a good haunting, and the departing lover who delights in a dramatic exit. Dying Modern explores modern poetry's fascination with pre- and postmortem speech, pondering the literary desire to make death speak in the face of its cultural silencing.

Review

 

"Dying Modern is terrific. To have achieved so much in such a short, brisk, and eminently readable book; to have recovered such fascinating subgenres and thought through their interrelations; to have returned to the well-worn terrain of the elegy and come up with fresh insights and inventive readings—these are remarkable accomplishments."—Jahan Ramazani, author of Poetry of Mourning: The Modern Elegy from Hardy to Heaney


"Celebrating poetry's power to bring anything, even death, to life, Diana Fuss's Dying Modern reanimates the elegy for our time. Bringing out the ethical call that echoes throughout the form, her voice becomes the perfect guide to the vanishing voices that elegy creates, preserves, and displaces at once. After reading this wonderful book you'll agree: death never had it so good."—Lee Edelman, author of No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive


"Diana Fuss's exceptional meditative essay, Dying Modern, is a subtle Keatsian inquiry into the irresolvable, and therefore generative, tensions between genre and mode, and between historical contingency and the constancy of ethical commitments."—Max Cavitch, author of American Elegy: The Poetry of Mourning from the Puritans to Whitman