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Discrepant SolaceContemporary Literature and the Work of Consolation$
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David James

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198789758

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198789758.001.0001

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Walking with the Unconsoled

Walking with the Unconsoled

(p.193) 7 Walking with the Unconsoled
Discrepant Solace

David James

Oxford University Press

The final chapter extends Chapter 6’s examination of consolation itself as a source of dread in an extended reading of David Grossman’s epic anti-war novel, To the End of the Land (English trans. 2010) and Falling Out of Time (English trans. 2014). To the End of the Land dramatizes the trepidation surrounding solace, focalized as it is by an Israeli mother, Ora, for whom intimations of respite are shot through with jeopardy. Analysing Ora’s pre-emptive stance on solace, this chapter reveals just how differently consolation applies to situations facing persons who fear for those who are very much living (but whose lives could be cut short), in contrast to the compensations available to persons who know they are dwindling and who become the eulogizing subjects of their own conciliations. Grossman’s Ora mounts a lyrical defence against death’s imminence, writing to repel the oncoming moment when elegy will undoubtedly be the most fitting mode of address.

Keywords:   dread, disconsolation, resistance, the politics of form, David Grossman

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