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Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck

Why We Can't Look Away

By Eric Wilson, 1967-

Why can’t we look away?

Whether we admit it or not, we’re fascinated by evil. Dark fantasies, morbid curiosities, Schadenfreude: As conventional wisdom has it, these are the symptoms of our wicked side, and we succumb to them at our own peril. But we’re still compelled to look whenever we pass a grisly accident on the highway, and there’s no slaking our thirst for gory entertainments like horror movies and police procedurals. What makes these spectacles so irresistible?

In Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck, the scholar Eric G. Wilson sets out to discover the source of our attraction to the caustic, drawing on the findings of biologists, sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, philosophers, theologians, and artists. A professor of English literature and a lifelong student of the macabre, Wilson believes there’s something nourishing in darkness. “To repress death is to lose the feeling of life,” he writes. “A closeness to death discloses our most fertile energies.”

His examples are legion, and startling in their diversity. Citing everything from elephant graveyards and Susan Sontag’s On Photography to the Tiger Woods sex scandal and Steel Magnolias, Wilson finds heartening truths wherever he confronts death. In Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck, the perverse is never far from the sublime. The result is a powerful and delightfully provocative defense of what it means to be human—for better and for worse.

Format

Book

Availability

1 available at Sandhills
  • 155.935 Wil, Nonfiction

ISBN

0374150338


Format: Book
Author: Wilson, Eric, 1967-
Summary: An analysis of the human attraction to darker areas of life draws on findings in a wide range of disciplines and cites diverse examples to conclude that people experience renewal when they confront pain and death.
Title: Everyone loves a good train wreck : why we can't look away / Eric G. Wilson.
Publisher Date: New York : Sarah Crichton Books, c2012.
Subject: Curiosity Disasters -- Psychological aspects Horror -- Social aspects.
Isbn: 0374150338 9780374150334
Current Holds: 0
System Items Available: 1
System Items Total: 1
Call Number: 155.935 Wil
Oclc:
Upc:
Bib Id: 391174

Format: Book
Author: Wilson, Eric, 1967-
Summary: An analysis of the human attraction to darker areas of life draws on findings in a wide range of disciplines and cites diverse examples to conclude that people experience renewal when they confront pain and death.
Title: Everyone loves a good train wreck : why we can't look away / Eric G. Wilson.
Edition: 1st ed.
Publisher, Date: New York : Sarah Crichton Books, c2012.
Description: 213 p. ; 20 cm.
Subjects: Curiosity
Subjects: Disasters -- Psychological aspects
Subjects: Horror -- Social aspects.
Notes: Includes bibliographical references (p. [191]-210).
LCCN: 2011034954
ISBN: 0374150338
ISBN: 9780374150334
Requests: 0
Available Copies: 1
Total Copies: 1
Call Number: 155.935 Wil