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A Tremendous ThingFriendship from the "Iliad" to the Internet$
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Gregory Jusdanis

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452840

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452840.001.0001

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Mourning Becomes Friendship

Mourning Becomes Friendship

Chapter:
(p.61) 2 Mourning Becomes Friendship
Source:
A Tremendous Thing
Author(s):

Gregory Jusdanis

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801452840.003.0003

This chapter moves on to death and mourning in literary expressions of friendship. Literature, from the Epic of Gilgamesh to the twentieth-century Greek poet Constantine P. Cavafy, has often elegized friendship. In the imagination the male friend almost always dies, and the chapter explores the reasons as to why. Is the friend killed because society distrusts two men bound in an unproductive relationship? The chapter raises further questions: do men wage war in order to make friends? It considers whether armed conflict creates the opportunity for men to befriend each other away from society's prying and distrustful eyes. In addition, the chapter delves into that literary preoccupation for referring to friendship in memoriam, thus considering the expressions of the fragility and finite nature of this relation.

Keywords:   death, mourning, male friendships, armed conflict, societal constraints, friendship fragility

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