Biss's volume is that rare work: scientifically grounded while literary and cultural (Biss features a chapter on vampires and draws on Greek mythology, Daniel Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year
, Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Susan Sontag's more recent AIDS and Its Metaphors, for example).
His books are Letters to George, Taking Stock and Journal of the Plague Year
Human reactions to the plague are also the central themes of historical titles such as A Journal of the Plague Year
by Daniel Defoe (1659-1731), a long, detailed narrative of events, anecdotes, and statistics regarding the Great Plague of London of 1665.
The passage anticipates an episode in Defoe's fictional disaster account, A Journal of the Plague Year (1722), where H.
In a fashion similar to that of The Storm, Journal of the Plague Year claims on its title page that the work is written by a "Citizen, who lived the whole Time in London" and intends to demonstrate the "Observations and Memorials of the most remarkable Occurrences, both Public and Private, that happened during that dreadful Period.
the fictitious character in A Journal of the Plague Year, claims himself as an "eye-witness" (211) of the visitation in London in 1665.
Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, Journal of the Plague Year
, and Moll Flanders are all fictions masquerading as memoirs, as are Gulliver's Travels, The Three Musketeers, and a long list of other classic works of fiction.
This is exactly the question engaged by Janette Turner Hospital in her fascinating recent novel, Due Preparations for the Plague, whose name is taken from Daniel Defoe's Journal of the Plague Year
and whose many epigraphs recognize a whole host of literary progenitors, including Camus's The Plague, Thomas Nashe's "In Time of Pestilence," and Boccaccio's Decameron.
Any novelist writing about epidemics bears the legacy of A Journal of the Plague Year
, the 1722 text in which Defoe recounts the collective story of one city, in his case London, under the impact of a plague, and uses a narrator so self-effacing that his only concession to personal identity is the placement of his initials, H.
In A Journal of the Plague Year
, Daniel Defoe's chronicle of the great plague of London in 1665, rats were named as suspects, "All possible Endeavours were used also to destroy the Mice and Rats, especially the latter" (7).
Exploring allegory as a desentimentalized way of dealing with emotionally dangerous issues, Dashiell uses sources like Daniel Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year
, 1722, the Tarot, and Bosch's apocalyptic imagery.
History itself is punctuated and shaped by epidemics, whose accounts are at the center of such literary works as Boccachio's Decameron, Daniel Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year
, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez' Love in the Time of Cholera.