The Ends of Mourning explores from an interdisciplinary perspective the contemporary crisis of mourning. In an age skeptical of history and memory, we relate to the past only as a spectacle, a product to be consumed in the cultural marketplace.
The book charts the emergence and development of the problem of mourning in the writings of Freud, Proust, and Freud’s successor Lacan. Freud’s idea of “sorrow work” and Proust’s concept of involuntary memory defined the terms of the classic modernist account of mourning in the fields of psychoanalysis and literature. Yet their insistence on the egotistical aspects of loss to the exclusion of all ethical and political considerations threatens the dissolution of the question of mourning. -- from the publisher