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Speaking With the DeadExplorations in Literature and History$
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Jurgen Pieters

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780748615889

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748615889.001.0001

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(p.136) Epilogue
Speaking With the Dead

Jürgen Pieters

Edinburgh University Press

Before Petrarch, the conversation with the dead was located elsewhere – with Homer and Virgil – and, even with Petrarch's contemporary and fellow countryman Dante, the dialogue takes place in the Underworld. Petrarch wrote down his reflections on the conversation with the dead in the first half of the fourteenth century. To speak with the dead is to become aware of the productive force of what Hannah Arendt called the tears of remembrance, but also of the feeling of loss that is constitutive of all the memories. In general, the conversations conducted with the dead are a constant reminder of them.

Keywords:   dead, conversation, Petrarch, Homer, Virgil, Dante, Underworld, Hannah Arendt

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