Oral #22: Emmalee Ellis – The Validity of Literary Representations of Epidemic Illness in the 20th Century

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Faculty mentor: Vincent Pecora

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic I became interested in how epidemic illness has been represented in literature. As a basic framework I counter the argument by Susan Sontag that illness should not be used as a literary device. I examine three texts to build my argument, Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice, Katherine Porter’s Pale Horse, Pale Rider, and Albert Camus’s The Plague. Each text displays value of illness as a literary device and provides possibilities of how Covid-19 will be represented.

Watch my research presentation below.
Questions or comments? Contact me at: piccoloemmy@gmail.com

View my Presentation Slides HERE

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