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Renascence

Volume 68, Issue 4, Fall 2016

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Displaying: 1-4 of 4 documents


1. Renascence: Volume > 68 > Issue: 4
Maire Mullins, Prophetic Voice and Sacramental Insight in Walt Whitman’s “Messenger Leaves” Poems
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The fifteen “Messenger Leaves” poems Whitman assembled as part of the third (1860) edition of Leaves of Grass exhibit a tension between the prophetic and the sacramental that would become more significant as the United States entered the decade of the Civil War. Comprised of poems that provide warnings and admonitions (the prophetic) and poems that offer consolation and healing (the sacramental), in “Messenger Leaves” Whitman uses biblical models and texts to appeal to the religious sensibilities of the American people. Although “Messenger Leaves” as a cluster was dissembled in the 1867 edition of Leaves of Grass, its religious themes draw attention to Whitman’s envisioning of the third edition as the “new Bible.”
2. Renascence: Volume > 68 > Issue: 4
Anna Głąb, The Other as Text: The Ethics of Love in Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Marriage Plot
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Literary fiction is the most appropriate way of describing the phenomenon of love. It appreciates the uniqueness and preciousness of individuals, and it allows for universalizing. By following the experiences of Madeleine and Leonard, the main characters in Jeffrey Eugenides's The Marriage Plot, I focus on the problem of experiencing love through the lenses of different literary constructs. Following Raimond Gaita, I find that love is a reaction to the preciousness of human beings. Two particularly important aspects are sensitivity and the ability to react to the call of seriousness hidden in the declaration of love. I attempt to evaluate Madeleine's and Leonard's situation by means of the category of moral responsibility and self-awareness.
3. Renascence: Volume > 68 > Issue: 4
Michelle Loris, Biblical Analogues in Joan Didion’s Play It As It Lays
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Joan Didion uses Biblical analogues in her novel Play It As It Lays (1970) to recount the American western myth she learned in her youth, “the story that the wilderness was and is redemptive” (“Thinking about Western Thinking” 14). Her use of scriptural analogues helps us to understand the moral themes in this novel. Situating her novel in America’s most disappointing frontier —Hollywood, Didion uses the Biblical metaphor of the desert to relate a tale of moral chaos illustrated by failed marriages, sexual adultery, forsaken children, and suicide. In Didion’s scriptural analogues, we see, in this Hollywood story, a contemporary wilderness riven by spiritual despair and moral devastation, but a wilderness that can lead to deliverance.
4. Renascence: Volume > 68 > Issue: 4
Franklin Arthur Wilson, Percy Following Faulkner: A Different Path?
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This article offers four views of Walker Percy’s fourth novel, Lancelot: [1] The novel echoes themes engaged by William Faulkner in two of his works, Sanctuary and Requiem for a Nun ; [2] Lancelot advances Faulkner’s particular assertion that the “past is never dead, it is not even past”; [3] as the novel’s epigraph suggests, Percy also writes Lancelot in relation to Dante Alighieri’s early 14th century poetic allegory, The Divine Comedy; [4] understanding Lancelot as an advancement of Faulkner’s view of history by means of Dante’s theology contradicts Shelby Foote’s memorial hope that Percy would be remembered “not merely [as] an explicator of various philosophers and divines,” but as a novelist in “simple and solemn fact.”