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Renascence

Volume 71, Issue 4, Fall 2019

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Displaying: 1-3 of 3 documents


1. Renascence: Volume > 71 > Issue: 4
Jeffrey Hipolito Owen Barfield’s Riders on Pegasus: An Introductory Essay
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This essay offers an introduction to Owen Barfield’s long romance poem, Riders on Pegasus. It argues that the poem is a complex example of “romantic modernism,” self-consciously following in the tradition of Blake and Shelley while responding in an equally self-aware way to the anti-romantic modernism of early Eliot and Auden. It argues for the formal and aesthetic accomplishment and interest of the poem, and suggests that it is an as yet overlooked masterpiece of mid-century English poetry.
2. Renascence: Volume > 71 > Issue: 4
Jean Bocharova David Foster Wallace’s Catholic Imagination: “The Depressed Person” and Orthodoxy
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Although scholars have read “The Depressed Person” in relation to questions of the self and problems of communication and self-expression, this paper reads the story as an entry point for examining the religious dimensions of Wallace’s work. Comparing Wallace with G.K. Chesterton, the paper argues that if we can accept that the depressed person’s condition is not a biologically grounded clinical depression but an exaggerated personification of a common ailment—a particular brand of loneliness—then we can see that we each have a stake in the search for a way to break the dehumanizing pull of our own egos. Wallace and Chesterton point to submission and attention as potential means of escape, even if they disagree about how to do this. When confronted with the challenge of finding happiness, joy, and connection in a world that encourages introspection, explanatory mastery, and mechanistic views of the self—of finding meaning in the face of forces of meaninglessness, nihilism, and self-centeredness—both draw on imaginative literature as a source of knowledge. Wallace stops just short of orthodoxy, but his works stand as courageous defenses of the human person against the strange but dangerous foes of modern American life.
3. Renascence: Volume > 71 > Issue: 4
Elizabeth Burow-Flak Genocide, Memory, and the Difficulties of Forgiveness in Card’s Ender Saga and Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant
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Orson Scott Card’s Ender Saga and Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant explore the role of memory in aftermath of genocide; both authors employ fantasy and the metaphor of the buried giant to represent past slaughters. Although distinct in genre, the novels together demonstrate the tension between forgiving and forgetting in memory studies following the atrocities of the twentieth century. Forgiveness in the Ender saga falls short of the accountability embedded in “difficult forgiveness” as defined by Paul Ricoeur, as does the imposed forgetfulness between previously warring parties in The Buried Giant. Similarly, the fictions demonstrate, on a corporate scale, neither “unconditional forgiveness” as defined by Jacques Derrida nor “unconditional love” as defined by Martha Nussbaum. On an interpersonal level, however, The Buried Giant demonstrates the transformative powers of all of these practices, thus inviting reflection on how they might effect larger-scale reconciliations.