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Renascence

Volume 69, Issue 1, Winter 2017

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Displaying: 1-5 of 5 documents


1. Renascence: Volume > 69 > Issue: 1
Kevin R. West, Tokens of Sin, Badges of Honor: Julian of Norwich and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
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Critical assessment of the Arthurian court in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight has ranged from censure to exculpation, with the court’s origins, Arthur’s character, Gawain’s confession, and the court’s laughter variously taken to have great hermeneutical importance. I propose that Gawain’s transformation of the green girdle into a sign of shame, and the court’s reversal of that signification through adoption, compares well with Julian of Norwich’s heavenly vision of “tokyns of synne turnyd to worshyppe.” Approaching the poem by means of Julian’s contemporary, optimistic theology reveals the romance also to be optimistic, a story more of felix culpa than culpa mea.
2. Renascence: Volume > 69 > Issue: 1
Larry E. Fink, Hopkins’s Influence on Percy’s The Moviegoer
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This article begins with a review of Percy’s published statements about Hopkins’s influence on his fiction, particularly on his use of nature imagery. It appreciates Joseph Bizup’s 1994 article on Percy’s Love in the Ruins and James Wimsatt’s 2006 book, Hopkins’s Poetics of Speech and Sound. Next, it compares Hopkins’s & Percy’s use of sound devices and argues for reading Percy’s prose aloud for a full appreciation of his art. In addition to their sacramental view of nature, some of Hopkins’s personas and Binx Bolling share an ecstatic appreciation for the beauty and intricacy of creation. In preparation for the concluding observations about Binx’s search, his religious state at the beginning of the novel is summarized. The article closes with an analysis of how Percy uses distinctive diction and imagery from several of Hopkins’s best-known poems to suggest the role of the Holy Spirit in Binx’s spiritual journey.
3. Renascence: Volume > 69 > Issue: 1
Joshua Avery, Faith in the Unseen: Helena’s Sacramental Vision in All’s Well That Ends Well
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This essay argues that heretofore overlooked opening dialogue in All’s Well That Ends Well suggests clues as to the formation of a philosophical vision in Helena that is important to her disposition for the rest of the play. More specifically, references to Catholic-Protestant divisions frame epistemological questions that Helena ultimately resolves in a sacramental direction. I contend that this developed sacramental outlook allows her to make the leap of faith requisite for her successes. In the above respect, I claim that the play, its ambiguous ending notwithstanding, concludes in a genuinely comic vein.
4. Renascence: Volume > 69 > Issue: 1
Chene Heady, Autobiography as Mystery: Father Brown and the Case of G.K. Chesterton
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In “Autobiography as Mystery: Father Brown and the Case of G.K. Chesterton,” Chene Heady argues that G.K. Chesterton’s Autobiography (1936) complicates common scholarly assumptions about both genre and literary authorship. The popular Edwardian writer G.K. Chesterton produced an improbably vast and diffuse literary oeuvre. Chesterton’s scholarly advocates have typically defending him by redefining him in more specialized and more manageable terms; he becomes either the sage-like nonfiction writer who wrote Orthodoxy or the mystery writer who invented Father Brown. However, Chesterton himself derided the cult of the expert, and mocked the tendency towards literary specialization as elitist. In his Autobiography, he refuses basic genre distinctions by insisting that the work should be read as a detective novel; the work’s climax reverses the relationship between creator and creation, as Father Brown solves the mystery of G.K Chesterton. By making this structural equation between autobiography and mystery, Chesterton asserts the fundamental identity between these hermeneutical enterprises. The Autobiography ultimately posits a fundamental equivalence between all the cultural practices by which we find meaning in the world around us, a premise that serves both to justify Chesterton’s eclectic model of authorship and to enable him to hope for cultural unity in deeply divided interwar Britain.
5. Renascence: Volume > 69 > Issue: 1
Notes on Contributors
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