Erotic Faith: Being in Love from Jane Austen to D. H. by Robert M. Polhemus

By Robert M. Polhemus

During this profoundly unique and far-reaching examine, Robert M. Polhemus exhibits how novels have helped to make erotic love a question of religion in glossy lifestyles. Erotic religion, Polhemus argues, is an emotional conviction — finally spiritual in nature — that that means, worth, wish, or even the potential for transcendence are available in love.

Drawing on quite a lot of disciplines, Polhemus exhibits the reciprocity of affection as topic, the radical as shape, and religion as intent in very important works via Jane Austen, Walter Scott, the Brontës, Dickens, George Eliot, Trollope, Thomas Hardy, Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, and Samuel Beckett. all through, Polhemus relates the novelists' illustration of affection to that of such artists as Botticelli, Vermeer, Claude Lorrain, Redon, and Klimt. Juxtaposing their work with 19th- and twentieth-century texts either finds the ways that novels improve and individualize universal erotic and non secular issues and illustrates how the unconventional has motivated our belief of all artwork.

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254–305). Indeed, the residual orality of a given chirographic culture can be calculated to a degree from the mnemonic load it leaves on the mind, that is, from the amount of memorization the culture’s educational procedures require (Goody 1968a, pp. 13–14). Of course oral cultures do not lack originality of their own kind. Narrative originality lodges not in making up new stories but in managing a particular interaction with this audience at this time— at every telling the story has to be introduced uniquely into a unique situation, for in oral cultures an audience must be brought to respond, often vigorously.

What obtains for epithets obtains for other formulas. Once a formulary expression has crystallized, it had best be kept intact. Without a writing system, breaking up thought—that is, analysis—is a high-risk procedure. e. oral] mind totalizes’ (1966, p. 245). (iii) Redundant or ‘copious’ Thought requires some sort of continuity. Writing establishes in the text a ‘line’ of continuity outside the mind. If distraction confuses or obliterates from the mind the context out of which emerges the material I am now reading, the context can be retrieved by glancing back over the text selectively.

They continued to encourage it, by a kind of oversight, when they had modulated rhetoric from an art of public speaking to an art of writing. Early written texts, through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, are often bloated with ‘amplification’, annoyingly redundant by modern standards. Concern with copia remains intense in western culture so long as the culture sustains massive oral residue—which is roughly until the age of Romanticism or even beyond. Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800–59) is one of the many fulsome early Victorians whose pleonastic written compositions still read much as an exuberant, orally composed oration would sound, as do also, very often, the writings of Winston Churchill (1874–1965).

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