There Before Us
In recent American life, religion has once again asserted its place as a motivating factor. Yet the place of religion in literary studies continues to take a back seat to trendier academic causes.
There Before Us begins to remedy this deficiency by exploring the place of faith in the lives of writers who wrote after Ralph Waldo Emerson's influential 1837 call to establish a national literary culture free from the learning of other lands. The authors in this volume explore the dimensions of this religious and national consciousness in the writings of H. D. Thoreau, Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson. Frances Harper, Mark Twain, William and Henry James, Ezra Pound, and T.S. Eliot. In developing their arguments, the essayists draw upon a wide array of contemporary theoretical resources from African-American poetics to environmental criticism, from the hermeneutics of suspicion to the new historicism.
There Before Us includes essays by Katherine Clay Bassard, Lawrence Buell, Michael Colacurcio, John Gatta, Roger Lundin, Gail McDonald, Barbara Packer, and M. D. Walhout.
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Thoreaus Imagination of Sacred Space at Walden John Gatta
Pity and Politics in Melvilles Fiction Michael Colacurcio
Dickinson and the Conflict of Interpretations Roger Lundin
The Defense of Slavery NineteenthCentury Hermeneutics and the Poetry of Frances E W Harper Katherine Clay Bassard
Mark Twains Lincoln as Man of the Border Religion Free Thinking and the Civil War Harold K Bush Jr