The Ruffian on the Stair: Reflections on Death (Penguin Psychology)

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9780140120608: The Ruffian on the Stair: Reflections on Death (Penguin Psychology)

A number of people, some of them eminent and some of them ordinary, talk about death and what it means to them in this book. The people featured include Jonathan Miller talking on the metaphors in which he has conceived of death since childhood and how they have influenced his theatre work, Roy Porter on the history of people's attitudes to death, Oxford philosopher Galen Stawson on how he overcame the terror of death despite lacking religious faith and a London fireman on what it is like to face and see death every day of the week. This collection of essays is edited by Rosemary Dinnage, editor of "One to One".

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From Library Journal:

This book is a curious compilation of interviews with a variety of English people on the subject of death. It has been edited so that the interviews read like essays, and the reader never knows exactly what the interviewer asked. Clearly, Drinnage did not ask the same questions of everyone, and the result is more a hodgepodge than a unified collection. However, letting some of these people talk about death and its meaning is fascinating, and the interviews with an anthropologist, a fireman, a Sudanese refugee, and several Holocaust survivors are particularly rewarding. A few of the interviewees discuss psychic experiences involving the dead. Others talk about the deep depressions they experienced after the death of a loved one. It is hard to imagine anyone reading this book from cover to cover, but the variety makes it likely that many people will find one or more interviews worthwhile. Still, not an essential purchase.
- Lucy Patrick, Florida State Univ., Tallahassee
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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