6210652312273939302.jpg
This image has been sourced from online.
y I'm Dying Laughing : The Humourist single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 1986 1986
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'This last great work by one of the century’s great writers is a large and original novel of betrayal and self-delusion, madness and consuming passions, that recreates to chilling effect the political turbulence of the American Left and the clamor and menace of the McCarthy Right. Not since her classic The Man Who Loved Children has Stead fashioned such willful and memorable characters as Emily Wilks and Stephen Howard. Emily is a woman of enormous but mercurial enthusiasms whose unflagging ebullience masks a darkness that will lead to disaster. Stephen—handsome, clever, spoiled—is a dangerous dreamer, an upper-class dropout playing at radical politics. Together, they mirror the times through which they live: the heady revolutionary fervor of the Depression, the short collaborative effort of wartime America, the fractiousness of the Cold War years.' (Publication summary)

Notes

  • Epigraph: 'The mockeries are not you. . ./The pert apparel, the deform'd attitude, drunkenness, greed, premature death, all these I part aside. . .//Through angers, losses, ambition, ignorance, ennui, what you are picks its way.'/(Walt Whitman, To You. Birds of Passage, 1881)
  • Dedication: For William Blake, novelist and economist/My friend and husband, who helped me from the beginning
  • Other formats: Also sound recording.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Notes:
Unfinished work prepared for publication by Christina Stead's literary executor, R.G. Geering
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Virago , 1986 .
      Extent: viii, 447p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Edited and introduced by R. G. Geering.
      ISBN: 086068797X
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Henry Holt , 1987 .
      Extent: xi, 447p.p.
      Edition info: Reprinted from English first edition.
      Note/s:
      • Edited and introduced by R. G. Geering.
      ISBN: 0805004629
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Penguin Books , 1989 .
      Extent: viii, 447 p.p.
      Edition info: Reprinted from English first edition.
      Note/s:
      • Edited and introduced by R. G. Geering.
      ISBN: 0140110968
      Series: Penguin Twentieth Century Classics series - publisher
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Henry Holt , 1994 .
      6210652312273939302.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Edition info: Reprinted from English first edition.
      Note/s:
      • Introduction by Angela Carter.
      ISBN: 0805035893
      Series: Owl Books Henry Holt (publisher), series - publisher

Works about this Work

Accessible and Still in Good Stead Adrian Mitchell , single work review
— Review of I'm Dying Laughing : The Humourist Christina Stead 1986 single work novel
'The Rest Flies Down the Wind' : Complexities of Late Style in the Work of Christina Stead Susan Carson , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , December vol. 26 no. 2 2012; (p. 253-257)
‘A Skyrocket Waiting to Be Let Off’, but to Where? Christina Stead’s First Impressions of the United States and Her Postwar Literary Rehabilitation Michael Ackland , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Reading Across the Pacific : Australia-United States Intellectual Histories 2010; (p. 225-239)
'This paper focuses on Stead's journal and manuscripts comments on Boston and Manhattan in the mid-1930s, on their ideological implications, and on the insights they provide into her imaginative projection and exploration of 'America' in her fiction.' (Author's abstract)
The ‘American Dilemma’: Christina Stead’s Cold War Anatomy Fiona Morrison , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Reading Across the Pacific : Australia-United States Intellectual Histories 2010; (p. 241-253)

'After a year in New York in 1935-1936, Christina Stead commented that "the whole spirit of New York is opposed to the creative mind". Yet America and Americans became the matter of five of her subsequent novels. After a leftwing Australian background and a number of years in socialist milieus in London and Paris, Stead was an intriguing reader of 1940s America. In her late American work, I'm Dying Laughing (begun 1949, published 1986), Stead became that most precarious of things - a leftwing critic of the Left during the early Cold War. Desire for success and the accompanying fear of failure are thematised by Stead as "the American dilemma" - the contradictory relationship between collective action and individual survival at the heart of American national identity that she saw as no less forceful and tragic for many on the Left.' (Author's abstract)

'Scorched Earth', Washington and the Missing Manuscript of Christina Stead's I'm Dying Laughing Anne Pender , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , May vol. 21 no. 3 2004; (p. 235-250)
Pender's article reveals information from newly discovered Christina Stead manuscripts, and proposes a new reading, in the light of these materials, of Stead's posthumously published novel I'm Dying Laughing (ed. by Ron Geering).
Christina Stead's Politics Jennifer Gribble , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Running Wild : Essays, Fictions and Memoirs Presented to Michael Wilding 2004; (p. 173-186)
Discusses Stead's attitude towards socialism and communism as it reveals itself in her posthumously published novel I'm Dying Laughing and in some of her personal statements. Gribble concludes that Stead's novel 'takes an authoritative place among the political reassessments of communism that are only now beginning to emerge' (184).
Crossing the Rubicon : Abjection and Revolution in Christina Stead's I'm Dying Laughing Brigid Rooney , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 2 no. 2003; (p. 29-39)
Christina Stead's Last Book : The Novel and the Best-Seller Susan Sheridan , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 2 no. 2003; (p. 41-52)
Discusses the literary aspirations and successes of Christina Stead's protagonists and their relationship to Stead's own ambitions for I'm Dying Laughing.
Christina Stead: The Integrity of the Writer Ann Blake , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 63 no. 3 2003; (p. 53-62)
Remembering the Thirties : Christina Stead's 'For Love Alone' and 'I'm Dying Laughing' Kristin Hammett , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: And in Our Time : Vision, Revision, and British Writing of the 1930s 2003; (p. 221-242)
The Monstrosity of I'm Dying Laughing Ulla Rahbek , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Studies , Winter vol. 18 no. 2 2003; (p. 23-34)
This paper discusses the trope of monstrosity ... in relation to characterisation and intertextuality in particular. Protagonist Emily Wilkes is seen as an American communist whose infatuation with American riches leads to her downfall. She is discussed as pure id, unrestrained and unconventional, and increasingly mad.' (Author's abstract)
y Christina Stead : Satirist Anne Pender , Altona : Common Ground Publishing , 2002 Z960254 2002 single work criticism Reviews Stead's novels as inheritors of the tradition of Roman satire, arguing that Stead's satirical fiction presents a contemporary view of her own historical period from 1930 until the Cold War. Drawing on Stead's notes, diaries and manuscripts, Pender examines several of Stead's novels and her English short stories and puts forward an argument about the centrality of satire to Stead's discourse about culture and history. She also draws attention to the intellectual rigour and encyclopaedic breadth and vision evident in Stead's fiction and demonstrates Stead's significant contribution to the radical novel in the twentieth century.
y The Enigmatic Christina Stead : A Provocative Re-Reading Teresa Petersen , Carlton South : Melbourne University Press , 2001 Z795705 2001 single work criticism
In Search of Christina Stead Anne Pender , 2001 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: National Library of Australia News , March vol. 11 no. 6 2001; (p. 11-13)
Christina Stead's Satirical Vision : "I'm Dying Laughing" and Twentieth-Century History Anne Pender , 2000 single work criticism
— Appears in: Overland , Autumn no. 158 2000; (p. 42-50)
Christina Stead's Night of Struggle Susan Lever , 2000 single work criticism
— Appears in: Real Relations : The Feminist Politics of Form in Australian Fiction 2000; (p. 78-94, notes 156-157)
A 'Cruel Book': Menippean satire and the female satirist in "I'm Dying Laughing" Fiona Morrison , 2000 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Magic Phrase : Critical Essays on Christina Stead 2000; (p. 224-240, notes 281-282)
Christina Stead's Satire and the Public Sphere Anne Pender , 1999 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literature and the Public Sphere : Refereed Proceedings of the 1998 [ASAL] Conference 1999; (p. 124-131)
Loving the Revolutionary: Re-Reading Christina Stead's Encounter with Men, Marxism and the Popular Front in 1930s Paris Brigid Rooney , 1998 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: Southerly , Summer vol. 58 no. 4 1998-1999; (p. 84-102)
y Revolution and Abjection in Christina Stead's `I'm Dying Laughing' Brigid Rooney , Clayton : Monash University. Centre for Women's Studies , 1995 Z233548 1995 single work criticism
Untitled Dorothy Hewett , 1987 single work review
— Appears in: Fremantle Arts Review , July vol. 2 no. 7 1987; (p. 14)

— Review of I'm Dying Laughing : The Humourist Christina Stead 1986 single work novel
Wrestling Stead to the Ground Cath Kenneally , 1987 single work review
— Appears in: The Adelaide Review , May no. 38 1987; (p. 14)

— Review of I'm Dying Laughing : The Humourist Christina Stead 1986 single work novel
Passion Play of a Stricken Nation Penelope Nelson , 1989 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian Magazine , 22-23 July 1989; (p. 8)

— Review of The Greatest Game 1988 anthology poetry short story prose ; I'm Dying Laughing : The Humourist Christina Stead 1986 single work novel
The Power of Contradiction Nancy Lee Jones , 1988 single work review
— Appears in: Belles-Lettres (US) , July-August 1988; (p. 4)

— Review of Ocean of Story : The Uncollected Stories of Christina Stead Christina Stead 1985 selected work short story prose extract drama biography ; I'm Dying Laughing : The Humourist Christina Stead 1986 single work novel
The Literary Spectrum Dorothy Hewett , 1987 single work review
— Appears in: Overland , September no. 108 1987; (p. 83-86)

— Review of Julia Paradise Rod Jones 1986 single work novel ; Testostero David Foster 1987 single work novel ; I'm Dying Laughing : The Humourist Christina Stead 1986 single work novel
Untitled Sue Roff , 1987 single work review
— Appears in: Antipodes , November vol. 1 no. 2 1987; (p. 122-123)

— Review of The Three Miss Kings Ada Cambridge 1883 single work novel ; Day of My Delight : An Anglo-Australian Memoir Martin Boyd 1965 single work autobiography ; I'm Dying Laughing : The Humourist Christina Stead 1986 single work novel
Christina Stead Shows Us - as Only a Novelist Can - That the Political is the Personal P. Binding , 1987 single work review
— Appears in: Listener (UK) , 2 April 1987; (p. 21)

— Review of I'm Dying Laughing : The Humourist Christina Stead 1986 single work novel
Lives of the Party Judith Kegan Gardiner , 1987 single work review
— Appears in: The Women's Review of Books , October 1987; (p. 8)

— Review of I'm Dying Laughing : The Humourist Christina Stead 1986 single work novel
Ron Instead of Christina Louise Adler , 1987 single work review
— Appears in: National Times on Sunday , 19 April 1987; (p. 30)

— Review of I'm Dying Laughing : The Humourist Christina Stead 1986 single work novel
Satire on the Hollow Radicals of Hollywood Hazel Rowley , 1987 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 4 April 1987;

— Review of I'm Dying Laughing : The Humourist Christina Stead 1986 single work novel
The Novel That Gave Christina Stead Trouble Elizabeth Riddell , 1987 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 7 April vol. 109 no. 5564 1987; (p. 74-75)

— Review of I'm Dying Laughing : The Humourist Christina Stead 1986 single work novel
Three or Four of Everything Joanna Motion , 1987 single work review
— Appears in: The Times Literary Supplement , 24 April 1987; (p. 435)

— Review of I'm Dying Laughing : The Humourist Christina Stead 1986 single work novel
Tragedy and Dinner Parties... and Not Enough Talk About Sadness Don Anderson , 1987 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , July no. 92 1987; (p. 6-8)

— Review of I'm Dying Laughing : The Humourist Christina Stead 1986 single work novel
Untitled Phoebe-Lou Adams , 1987 single work review
— Appears in: Atlantic , October 1987; (p. 106)

— Review of I'm Dying Laughing : The Humourist Christina Stead 1986 single work novel
Untitled John Beston , 1987 single work review
— Appears in: Choice (US) , December 1987; (p. 625)

— Review of I'm Dying Laughing : The Humourist Christina Stead 1986 single work novel
Untitled A. P. Riemer , 1987 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 28 March 1987; (p. 47)

— Review of I'm Dying Laughing : The Humourist Christina Stead 1986 single work novel
Untitled Juliette Wansbrough , 1987 single work review
— Appears in: The West Australian , 13 June 1987;

— Review of I'm Dying Laughing : The Humourist Christina Stead 1986 single work novel
Untitled 1987 single work review
— Appears in: The New Yorker , 28 December 1987; (p. 123-124)

— Review of I'm Dying Laughing : The Humourist Christina Stead 1986 single work novel
Untitled A. P. Riemer , 1989 single work review
— Appears in: The Good Reading Guide 1989; (p. 247)

— Review of I'm Dying Laughing : The Humourist Christina Stead 1986 single work novel
Chilling Relevance Michael Wilding , 1991 single work review
— Appears in: Top Shelf : Supplement to Australian Book Review 1991; (p. 18)

— Review of I'm Dying Laughing : The Humourist Christina Stead 1986 single work novel
Crossing the Rubicon : Abjection and Revolution in Christina Stead's I'm Dying Laughing Brigid Rooney , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 2 no. 2003; (p. 29-39)
Christina Stead's Last Book : The Novel and the Best-Seller Susan Sheridan , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 2 no. 2003; (p. 41-52)
Discusses the literary aspirations and successes of Christina Stead's protagonists and their relationship to Stead's own ambitions for I'm Dying Laughing.
Christina Stead: The Integrity of the Writer Ann Blake , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 63 no. 3 2003; (p. 53-62)
'Scorched Earth', Washington and the Missing Manuscript of Christina Stead's I'm Dying Laughing Anne Pender , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , May vol. 21 no. 3 2004; (p. 235-250)
Pender's article reveals information from newly discovered Christina Stead manuscripts, and proposes a new reading, in the light of these materials, of Stead's posthumously published novel I'm Dying Laughing (ed. by Ron Geering).
Christina Stead's Politics Jennifer Gribble , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Running Wild : Essays, Fictions and Memoirs Presented to Michael Wilding 2004; (p. 173-186)
Discusses Stead's attitude towards socialism and communism as it reveals itself in her posthumously published novel I'm Dying Laughing and in some of her personal statements. Gribble concludes that Stead's novel 'takes an authoritative place among the political reassessments of communism that are only now beginning to emerge' (184).
Remembering the Thirties : Christina Stead's 'For Love Alone' and 'I'm Dying Laughing' Kristin Hammett , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: And in Our Time : Vision, Revision, and British Writing of the 1930s 2003; (p. 221-242)
"I'm Dying Laughing": Behind the Scenes R. G. Geering , 1987 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , September vol. 47 no. 3 1987; (p. 309-317)
The Monstrosity of I'm Dying Laughing Ulla Rahbek , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Studies , Winter vol. 18 no. 2 2003; (p. 23-34)
This paper discusses the trope of monstrosity ... in relation to characterisation and intertextuality in particular. Protagonist Emily Wilkes is seen as an American communist whose infatuation with American riches leads to her downfall. She is discussed as pure id, unrestrained and unconventional, and increasingly mad.' (Author's abstract)
‘A Skyrocket Waiting to Be Let Off’, but to Where? Christina Stead’s First Impressions of the United States and Her Postwar Literary Rehabilitation Michael Ackland , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Reading Across the Pacific : Australia-United States Intellectual Histories 2010; (p. 225-239)
'This paper focuses on Stead's journal and manuscripts comments on Boston and Manhattan in the mid-1930s, on their ideological implications, and on the insights they provide into her imaginative projection and exploration of 'America' in her fiction.' (Author's abstract)
The ‘American Dilemma’: Christina Stead’s Cold War Anatomy Fiona Morrison , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Reading Across the Pacific : Australia-United States Intellectual Histories 2010; (p. 241-253)

'After a year in New York in 1935-1936, Christina Stead commented that "the whole spirit of New York is opposed to the creative mind". Yet America and Americans became the matter of five of her subsequent novels. After a leftwing Australian background and a number of years in socialist milieus in London and Paris, Stead was an intriguing reader of 1940s America. In her late American work, I'm Dying Laughing (begun 1949, published 1986), Stead became that most precarious of things - a leftwing critic of the Left during the early Cold War. Desire for success and the accompanying fear of failure are thematised by Stead as "the American dilemma" - the contradictory relationship between collective action and individual survival at the heart of American national identity that she saw as no less forceful and tragic for many on the Left.' (Author's abstract)

'The Rest Flies Down the Wind' : Complexities of Late Style in the Work of Christina Stead Susan Carson , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , December vol. 26 no. 2 2012; (p. 253-257)
Christina Stead's Human Comedy: The American Sequence Margaret Harris , 1992 single work criticism
— Appears in: World Literature Written in English , Spring vol. 32 no. 1 1992; (p. 42-51)
Christina Stead : Selected Fiction and Nonfiction : Introduction R. G. Geering , Anita Kristina Segerberg , 1994 single work criticism
— Appears in: Christina Stead : Selected Fiction and Nonfiction 1994; (p. xi-xxv ia,)
Loving the Revolutionary: Re-Reading Christina Stead's Encounter with Men, Marxism and the Popular Front in 1930s Paris Brigid Rooney , 1998 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: Southerly , Summer vol. 58 no. 4 1998-1999; (p. 84-102)
"Other Tongues Than Ours": Christina Stead's I'm Dying Laughing Diana Brydon , 1989 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian & New Zealand Studies in Canada , Fall no. 2 1989; (p. 17-26)
The Pleasures of Text and Table: Appetite and Consumption in "I'm Dying Laughing" Tina Muncaster , 1993 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , December vol. 53 no. 4 1993; (p. 106-115)
Christina Stead in New York Anita Kristina Segerberg , 1989 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , Spring vol. 3 no. 1 1989; (p. 15-19)
y Christina Stead : A Biography Hazel Rowley , Port Melbourne : Heinemann , 1993 Z202981 1993 single work biography
y Reality and the Shadow: The Adventure of Identity in Twentieth-Century Australian Women's Fiction Nancy Lee Jones , 1989 Z203224 1989 single work thesis
y Revolution and Abjection in Christina Stead's `I'm Dying Laughing' Brigid Rooney , Clayton : Monash University. Centre for Women's Studies , 1995 Z233548 1995 single work criticism
Last amended 9 Oct 2014 09:40:39
Subjects:
  • c
    United States of America (USA),
    c
    Americas,
  • c
    France,
    c
    Western Europe, Europe,
Settings:
  • 1930s
  • 1940s
  • 1950s
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