Journal of Medical Humanities

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 325–336 | Cite as

Pedagogy and the Art of Death: Reparative Readings of Death and Dying in Margaret Edson’s Wit

  • Christine M. GottliebEmail author


Wit explores modes of reading representations of death and dying, both through the play’s sustained engagement with Donne’s Holy Sonnets and through Vivian’s self-reflexive approach to her illness and death. I argue that the play dramatizes reparative readings, a term coined by Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick to describe an alternative to the paranoid reading practices that have come to dominate literary criticism. By analyzing the play’s reparative readings of death and dying (as well as its representation of the shortcomings of paranoid readings), I show how Wit provides lessons about knowledge-making and reading practices in the field of health humanities.


Wit (Margaret Edson) Textual analysis Humanist pedagogy Dying 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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