The Plague: Living Death in Our Times

The Plague: Living Death in Our Times cover

The Plague: Living Death in Our Times

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A slim, heart-wrenching, and rousing new book from the leading feminist writer Jacqueline Rose.

In early 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began to infiltrate public consciousness, sales of The Plague, the classic novel by French philosopher Albert Camus, skyrocketed. At the same time, the virus’s toll surged exponentially. Amid the harrowing loss, many sensed a glimmer of possibility—the potential for radical empathy wrought by shared experience—even as the death-dealing divisions of class, race, gender, and citizenship were underscored like never before. We have been through a time of ‘living death’ when, for millions across the globe, untold horror has seemed to infiltrate the very air we breathe.

Jacqueline Rose’s trenchant new book unravels recent history via the lives and works of three extraordinary thinkers—Albert Camus, Sigmund Freud, and Simone Weil, each one afflicted by catastrophe. Their politics and private griefs, the depth of their understanding, fling open a window into our present crises. Rose, one of the most insightful thinkers on politics and psychoanalysis alike, has written a story of unusual range, spanning World War II to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, surging domestic violence to emboldened anti-racist protest, the Spanish influenza to Omicron, Boris Johnson’s deranged optimism to Vladimir Putin’s megalomania. The Plague: Living Death In Our Times enacts a psychic reckoning for our moment and for the future to be forged in its aftermath.

Jacqueline Rose is one of the most important living feminist literary and cultural critics. She is the codirector of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, a cofounder of Independent Jewish Voices, and a fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Literary Society. Rose is a frequent contributor to the London Review of Books and The Guardian, among many other publications. She is the celebrated author of Sexuality in the Field of Vision, The Haunting of Sylvia Plath, States of Fantasy, Women in Dark Times, Mothers: An Essay on Love and Cruelty, and On Violence and On Violence Against Women.

ISBN: 9780374610869

ISBN-10: 9780374610869

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Publication Date: 08/01/2023 - 12:00am

On Sale: 08/01/2023 - 12:00am

Pages: 176

Language: English


Biography & Autobiography / Literary Figures

Social Science / Disease & Health Issues

Political Science / Essays