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Rabbit (Un)Redeemed: The Drama of Belief in John UpdikeOs Fiction
     

Rabbit (Un)Redeemed: The Drama of Belief in John UpdikeOs Fiction

by Peter J. Bailey
 

Rabbit (Un)Redeemed: The Drama of Belief in John Updikes Fiction offers a selective reading of this prolific authors oeuvre, concentrating on Updikes career-spanning reoccupation with issues of faith and doubt. In Baileys reading, at the heart of Updike's work is the tension between affirming the continuance of the 'heady wine of religious consolation' and the

Overview

Rabbit (Un)Redeemed: The Drama of Belief in John Updikes Fiction offers a selective reading of this prolific authors oeuvre, concentrating on Updikes career-spanning reoccupation with issues of faith and doubt. In Baileys reading, at the heart of Updike's work is the tension between affirming the continuance of the 'heady wine of religious consolation' and the deepening anxiety that the best that humanity can hope for is 'the bleak fare of more endurance.' Focusing on a trio of Olinger stories, the Rabbit Angstrom tetralogy, In the beauty of the Lilies, and Rabbit Remembered, Bailey locates the dialectical situation at the center of Updike's literary career in his conflicted sense of himself as a Christian novelist and Howellsian realist. Bailey's thematically centered study reveals a substantial stylistic component in Updike's dilemma of belief; therefore, a significant objective of this study involves illuminating the author's conflict between creating an eschatologically inspired mimesis reflective of a 'knowing eye' behind appearances of reality, or settling for a historically based realism that, in Howellsian fashion, can do nothing more spiritually meaningful than to record (and thus literally preserve) that which is an will one day be no more. Rabbit Angstrom is Updike's most significant fictional creation, Bailey contends, because his impulses toward religious skepticism are so inadequately possessed of the intellectual and literary buffers that provide Updike and some of his other protagonists with temporary forms of solace or compensation. Rabbit's deepening skepticism that 'goodness lies inside, there is nothing outside' finds it corollary in the evolution delineated in Updike's work, transforming it from the 'song of joy' in affirmation of creation the 'The Blessed Man of Boston' narrator David Kern invokes, to the chronological reconstruction of history as attempted compensation for a relinquished belief in times spiritual significance in In the Beauty of th

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781611472998
Publisher:
Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
Publication date:
01/01/2006
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
295
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Peter J. Bailey is Professor of English at St. Lawrence University.

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