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Displaying: 1-10 of 2321 documents


1. Renascence: Volume > 70 > Issue: 4
Kevin J. Gardner The Church Elegy: Recuperating Anglican Memory in Post-war English Poetry
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Following the pattern set by Philip Larkin and John Betjeman, numerous post-war English poets responded to the decline of the Church of England as a physical and cultural fabric by composing elegies on the Church. Steeping their poems in the collective memory of Anglicanism, they commemorate church buildings and churchyards as sites of collective memory, endow the history and landscape of Britain with Christian mythology, and lament the social ramifications of a post-Christian culture. This essay demonstrates that a poetic lament for the loss of Anglican hegemony is a common motif in post-war English poetry and defines genre of “church elegy.” What is mourned is not the loss of Christianity itself but the end of a common cultural identity once sustained by the Church of England. In response, poets fretted by the disorder and fragmentation of modern British society are engaged in an effort to resuscitate Anglican cultural memory.
2. Renascence: Volume > 70 > Issue: 4
Brian Barbour “His Trees Stood Rising Above Him”: Philosophical Thomism in Flannery O’Connor
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Although Thomism, “hillbilly” or otherwise, is central to Flannery O’Connor’s thought and art, it has received precious little attention from those who comment on her work. Still, if one knows how to look, it is pervasive, ordering and animating her fiction and helping to ground her comic vision. But it is so thoroughly, artistically, integrated into her work that most readers seem to pass over it leaving it unnoticed and unremarked. Yet it is present in at least six ways and often they are so intertwined as to reinforce one another: as a metaphysics of being (The Violent Bear It Away, “A View of the Woods” and passim); as an epistemology of moderate realism (“Good Country People”); as a historical narrative showing the loss of the first two (passim in her general regard for the Cartesian Protagonist); as an anthropology of the human person as a composite of body and soul (“The Life You Save May Be Your Own”); as a natural law morality (“A Stroke of Good Fortune,” “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”); and as an objective aesthetics (“A Temple of the Holy Ghost,” “The Enduring Chill”). Understanding the basics of her philosophical Thomism enables the reader to grasp a good deal of what actually characterizes her fiction and yet is routinely missed.
3. Renascence: Volume > 70 > Issue: 4
Yanbin Kang Dickinson’s Air/Wind: “Lonesome Glee” and Poetics of Emptiness
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Combining reception theorists’s emphasis upon the function of readers for meaning production with Bakhtin’s model of exotopic intercultural relation, this essay argues that for Chinese readers, Dickinson works as part of a long meditative tradition. The discussion positions the air and wind in the center of her image cluster, examining the formation of her poetics of emptiness that is marked by a negative tendency. In this vein, Dickinson’s “lonesome Glee,” which is often associated with deprivation, pain and lack, is read as a manifestation of wandering at ease, a spiritual ideal that resonates with Daoism and Chan Buddhism. Her effort to reconfigure heaven, as evidenced in a subset of poems including “Peace is a fiction of our Faith -” (Fr971), illuminates how she uses apophatic strategies to negotiate the Christian dogmas, gradually achieving a knowledge and articulation that intriguingly echo Chinese philosophies.
4. Renascence: Volume > 70 > Issue: 4
Zhiyong Mo Chinese Calligraphy and Painting
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5. Renascence: Volume > 70 > Issue: 4
Notes on Contributors
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6. Renascence: Volume > 70 > Issue: 3
Adam Glover Eucharist and the Poetics of Failure
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This article examines “Poem of the Eucharistic Bread” (1946) by the underappreciated twentieth-century Argentine Catholic poet Francisco Luis Bernárdez (1900-1978). It contends that “Poem of the Eucharistic Bread” is not only a poem about the Eucharist, but also a kind of allegory of the Eucharist, one whose poetic diction frames the process of poiesis as significantly analogous to the sacramental character of the Eucharist itself. In the process, the article also suggests that Bernárdez’s rare combination of poetic talent and theological sensitivity ought to win him a wider readership among scholars interested in the relationship between literature and theology.
7. Renascence: Volume > 70 > Issue: 3
Martin Brick Death, Resurrection, and Meaning in Finnegans Wake: A Process Theology Approach
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This essay uses process theology, and branch of theology that emphasizes a teleological perspective regarding sin and suffering, to examine the treatment of death and the uncanny in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. The attitude of the mourners of Tim Finnegan from the first chapter of the novel is compared to the attitude of ALP in her closing monologue, with each view corresponding to a different variety of eschatology, futurized (focused on the afterlife) and realized (how knowledge of the end influences lived existence). ALP’s hopeful demeanor illustrates a balance of these two types, and despite Joyce’s denunciation of organized religion, promotes a deeper spiritual existence and self-reflection.
8. Renascence: Volume > 70 > Issue: 3
Peter Whiteford Hopkins’s Remarks on his ‘Terrible Posthumous Sonnets’
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In 1885, Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote two letters to Robert Bridges in which he referred briefly to several sonnets that he had recently written, and that he intended to send. He did not name the poems, and his subsequent failure to send them left the sonnets permanently unidentified and the remarks about them inevitably cryptic. Nevertheless, subsequent critics have readily and almost unanimously agreed that the remarks refer to some of the poems collectively known as the terrible sonnets; in a curiously circular argument, they have interpreted the remarks in the light of their reading of the sonnets and have, at the same time, used the remarks to shed light on the poems. Critical attention has focused particularly, and almost exclusively, on two remarks: in the first letter, the observation that one sonnet was “written in blood,” and in the second, the assertion that four of the sonnets came “like inspirations unbidden and against my will”. In this article, I argue that these remarks have been misinterpreted — in part, because of assumptions made about the putative group of terrible sonnets and in part through a failure to properly contextualize those letters.
9. Renascence: Volume > 70 > Issue: 3
Alan Blackstock Chesterton, Eliot, and Modernist Heresy
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G. K. Chesterton and T. S. Eliot both employed the concepts of orthodoxy and heresy to evaluate the work and influence of some of the most prominent writers of their day. One of Chesterton’s best-known books is titled Orthodoxy, (1908) and one of his earliest works of literary criticism was a collection of articles first written for the Daily News and later published under the title Heretics (1905). T.S. Eliot delivered a series of lectures at the University of Virginia in 1933 that were later collected and published as After Strange Gods: A Primer of Modern Heresy. In these lectures, Eliot, like Chesterton in his newspaper columns, illustrates the “limiting and crippling effect of a separation from tradition and orthodoxy” on writers whom he otherwise admires. Both authors invoke the concepts of orthodoxy to identify these threatened traditions and of heresy and heretic to identify the forces and figures that constitute the principal threats.
10. Renascence: Volume > 70 > Issue: 3
Notes on Contributors
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