The verbalization of grief in David Grossman’s Falling Out of Time


David Grossman’s experimental text Falling Out of Time (2011) examines the theme of the death of a child and parents’ attempts to understand and cope with the loss. In order to represent and articulate the sense of unbearable pain and grief, Grossman employs several strategies and techniques related to both content and form which allow for a perspective that is both artistically engaging and sensitive. One of the obvious formal features of the text is his use of poetry, which seemingly represents the most natural means to express the raw emotions and pain of his characters. The paper seeks to examine Grossman’s techniques that help him verbalize the grieving experience of his characters while focusing on his use of poetic language. It seems that the capacity of poetry to rely on meaningful silences and a multilayered interpretive potential enables one to create a healing space which facilitates the process of reconciliation.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Bober, N. S. 1991. A Restless Spirit: the story of Robert Frost. New York: Henry Holt & Company.

  • Davidson, L. 2014. Remembering and letting go: David Grossman gives form to grief in new book. Available at: <https://www.jweekly.eom/2014/05/02/remembering-and-letting-go-david-grossman-gives-form-to-grief-in-new-book/>, Retrieved 19.3. 2019.

  • Grossman, D. 2014. Falling Out of Time. New York: Alfred A. Knopf (Kindle edition).

  • Grossman, D. 2008. Writing in the Dark. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

  • Kristeva, J. 1987. ‘On the Melancholic Imaginary’. Available at: <, Retrieved 20.3. 2019.

  • Kunitz, S. 1985. Next-to-Last Things. New Poems and essays. Boston and New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press.

  • Lewis, C.S. 1976. A Grief Observed. New York: Bantam Books.

  • Lewis, C, S. 1947. The Problem of Pain. New York: The Macmillan Company.

  • Omestein, A. 2016. ‘The function of memorial spaces: Mourning following multiple traumatic losses. In: Tutter, A. and L. Wurmser (eds.). Grief and its Transcendence. Memory, identity, creativity. New York/London: Routledge, pp. 81-88.

  • Prend, A.D. 1997. Transcending Loss. Understanding the Lifelong Impact of Grief and How to Make it Meaningful. New York: Berkley Books.

  • Richman, S. 2014. Mended by the Muse. Creative Transformations of Trauma. New York/London: Routledge.


Journal + Issues