The Trivial Sublime: Theology and American Poetics

Overview

In recent years, scholars writing about the American Sublime have defined it in terms of a landscape of absence - an inner and outer landscape characterized by vastness, by blankness, by unrelieved whiteness, and by the so-called Oedipal struggle for power. Working firmly against these received notions, Linda Munk locates the American Sublime in the seemingly insignificant things of the everyday: in small and near and common objects, in humble persons, and in what the philosopher Stanley Cavell has called the ...
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Overview

In recent years, scholars writing about the American Sublime have defined it in terms of a landscape of absence - an inner and outer landscape characterized by vastness, by blankness, by unrelieved whiteness, and by the so-called Oedipal struggle for power. Working firmly against these received notions, Linda Munk locates the American Sublime in the seemingly insignificant things of the everyday: in small and near and common objects, in humble persons, and in what the philosopher Stanley Cavell has called the 'ordinariness' of the American language. Focusing clearly on works by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Walt Whitman, Flannery O'Connor and Jonathan Edwards, Dr. Munk develops a theory of the 'Trivial Sublime' that attends to the theology of the created world in its most minute and particular detail. For British readers especially, The Trivial Sublime offers a challenging explanation of the otherness of the American canon.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312085612
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 12/1/1992
  • Pages: 196

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Editor's Preface
The Trivial Sublime / Ex-tracts 1
1 Emerson: This Almost Insignificant Signifier 22
2 In Nomine Diaboli: An Extreme Interpretation of Billy Budd 40
3 Giving Umbrage: The Song of Songs which is Whitman's 60
4 Recycling Language: Emily Dickinson's Religious Wordplay 83
5 Robert Frost: The Design of Violence 107
6 Understanding Understatement: Biblical Typology and "The Displaced Person" 119
7 His Dazzling Absence: The Shekinah in Jonathan Edwards 136
Notes 163
Index 192
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