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Funeral Festivals in America (Hardback)

Rituals for the Living

P&S History > Social Science & Culture > Anthropology & Sociology

Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Series: Material Worlds
Pages: 168
ISBN: 9780813123806
Published: 13th January 2006
Casemate UK Academic

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When Evelyn Waugh wrote The Loved One (1948) as a satire of the elaborate preparations and memorialization of the dead taking place in his time, he had no way of knowing how extraordinarily creative and technical human funerary practices would become. Jacqueline S. Thursby explores how modern American funerals and their accompanying rituals seem meant to benefit the living rather than the dead.
Funeral Festivals in America suggests that there is an irony in the festivities surrounding death and that the American response to death often develops into an event celebrating the ties between family members and friends. Thursby cites rituals for loved ones separated at the time of death, the frivolities surrounding death, funeral foods and feasts, post-funeral rites and ongoing commemorations, and many other facets of the American way of dealing with death.

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