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Hospitality and Treachery in Western Literature
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Hospitality and Treachery in Western Literature

James A. W. Heffernan


In works of Western literature ranging from Homer's Odyssey to Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, the giving and taking of hospitality is sometimes pleasurable, but more often perilous. This book traces this leitmotiv through the history of our greatest writings, including Christ's Last Supper, Macbeth's murder of his royal guest, and Camus' short story on French colonialism in Arab Algeria. By means of such examples and many more, it considers what literary hosts, hostesses, and guests do to as well as for each other. In doing so, it shows how often treachery rends the fabric of trust t ... More

Keywords: Western literature, Homer, Odyssey, Albee, hospitality, Christ's Last Supper, Macbeth, Camus, short story, Arab Algeria

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780300195583
Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2014 DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300195583.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

James A. W. Heffernan, author