Sinful Self, Saintly Self: The Puritan Experience of Poetry

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Sinful Self, Saintly Self is a comprehensive study of early New England verse in light of Puritan notions regarding the nature and uses of poetry. Through a new historical reading of three major Puritan poets - Michael Wigglesworth, Anne Bradstreet, and Edward Taylor - Jeffrey Hammond reconstructs this aesthetic framework using Puritan theology, artistic and exegetical traditions deriving from the Bible, and Puritan assumptions about the psychology of the saved soul. Despite the current resurgence of interest in ...
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1st Edition, Fine/Fine- 2 tiny DJ nickes (1/32" & less) at top edges, o.w. clean, tight & bright. No ink names, tears, chips, foxing etc. ISBN 0820315001

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Athens and London 1993 Hard Cover First Edition New in New jacket 8vo-over 7?"-9?" tall. 1st Ed., 1st Printing, HB/DJ, brand new, 305 pp. We took the sealed plastic wrapper off ... to find out if it is a 1st Edition. Brodart protective cover now put on it to keep it new. The book is a comprehensive study of early New England verse in light of Puritan notions regarding the nature and uses of poetry. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Sinful Self, Saintly Self is a comprehensive study of early New England verse in light of Puritan notions regarding the nature and uses of poetry. Through a new historical reading of three major Puritan poets - Michael Wigglesworth, Anne Bradstreet, and Edward Taylor - Jeffrey Hammond reconstructs this aesthetic framework using Puritan theology, artistic and exegetical traditions deriving from the Bible, and Puritan assumptions about the psychology of the saved soul. Despite the current resurgence of interest in early American literature, Puritan poetry remains only dimly understood and appreciated. With the exception of Edward Taylor's Preparatory Meditations and Anne Bradstreet's personal lyrics, it is often viewed as a poetry of gloom and doctrine rather than of affirmation and inspiration. In reconstructing the Puritan experience of poetry, Hammond argues that this widespread view reflects a persistent tendency to approach these poems from a modern perspective. The contemporary critical bias against didactic and conventional writing has made Bradstreet and Taylor seem to be the only Puritan poets worth reading. The most popular poet of the era, Michael Wigglesworth, author of the infamous Day of Doom, remains virtually ignored because of this bias. Moreover, Bradstreet and Taylor are often interpreted and assessed in terms of the poetic preferences of the modern reader. Hammond contends that by understanding how Puritans felt when they wrote and read verse, modern readers can appreciate these writings on their own terms. "There was a Puritan way of reading," he maintains, "and it was not like ours. . . . Puritans were not merely content with their poetry but seem to have delighted in its didacticism and conventionality - the very qualities that distance the texts from us." Sinful Self, Saintly Self provides an important corrective to anachronistic interpretations and allows contemporary readers to confront the "otherness" of Puritan poetry. By historicizing
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820315003
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/1993
  • Pages: 320

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Pt. 1 The Forgotten Pilgrim: "As Weary Pilgrim" and Puritan Poetics
1 The Forgotten Pilgrim: Biblical Reading and the Puritan Experience of Poetry 3
Pt. 2 The Pilgrimage Preached: Michael Wigglesworth
2 "By Ladders of Your Own": Eschatology and the Selflessness of Reading 39
3 "A Sinful Self... Remaining in My Heart": Riddles of Comfort for the Saintly Self 60
Pt. 3 The Pilgrimage Lived: Anne Bradstreet
4 "Setting Up My Ebenezer": Anne Bradstreet and the Examined Self 83
5 "Hidden Manna That the World Knows Not": The Pilgrim's Inner Life 103
6 "Make Use of What I Leave in Love": The Saintly Self on Trial 123
Pt. 4 The Pilgrimage Absorbed: Edward Taylor
7 Apostle to a Naked Christ: Gods Determinations for Pilgrim Readers 145
8 "Both Wayes Born": Edward Taylor as Weary Pilgrim 164
9 "This Crumb of Dust": Pilgrim Voice and Christic Reader in the Preparatory Meditations 186
10 "In Sacred Text I Write": The Taylorian Self as the Word 213
Notes 239
Works Cited 281
Index 297
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