The Secret Life of Puppets

The Secret Life of Puppets

by Victoria Nelson

Hardcover

$29.95

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674006300
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 01/28/2002
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Victoria Nelson teaches in the Goddard College graduate program in creative writing.

Table of Contents

Prefacevii
1Grotto, An Opening1
2Early Adventures of the Earthly Gods25
3The Puppet Tractates47
4The Strange History of the American Fantastic75
5H. P. Lovecraft and the Great Heresies101
6Symmes Hole, or the South Polar Grotto139
7Is This Real or Am I Crazy?163
8Two Old Birds and Their New Feathers189
9The New Expressionists213
10The Hermeticon of Umbertus E.235
11The Great Twentieth-Century Puppet Upgrade249
12The Door in the Sky273
Notes293
Acknowledgments337
Index341

What People are Saying About This

Harold Bloom

Nelson has written an eloquent, exciting, memorable, important book. It is alive and disturbingly truthful.
Harold Bloom, author of The Western Canon and Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human

This is a book of powerful psychic allure: it consistently engages and challenges; one is pushed into new intellectual spheres by its very oddity and force. It is also spectacularly well-written on a sentence-by-sentence level. Nelson is a prose stylist of sometimes lyric and touching penetration.

Rabbi Lawrence Kushner

Much more than intellectual history and literary criticism, Victoria Nelson's The Secret Life of Puppets is a provocative, important and exciting thesis about why organized Western religion is no longer the residence of religion. In a convincing series of essays, Nelson demonstrates how the sacred and our yearning for the transcendent has now reappeared in art, film and all manner of simulacra--yes, and even in puppets. This is required reading for any serious student or teacher of religion.
Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, author of God Was In This Place and I, I Did Not Know, Invisible Lines of Connection and other books.

Thomas Moore

The Secret Life of Puppets is one of the most important and inspiring books I've read in many years. Ranging widely in the imagination of Western culture, it shows wisely how the human soul went into eclipse, where it remained hidden, and how it might return. The language is fresh, the ideas original. Each page has at least one summary sentence, beautifully compact, that offers a way out of the scientism and displaced notions of transcendence that have chased the life out of modern experience. Drawing on a largely neglected tradition of Neoplatonic and magical thought, it opens up key themes of religion and literature that lie hidden in popular culture and high art.
Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul and The Soul's Religion

Terry Castle

This is a book of powerful psychic allure: it consistently engages and challenges; one is pushed into new intellectual spheres by its very oddity and force. It is also spectacularly well-written on a sentence-by-sentence level. Nelson is a prose stylist of sometimes lyric and touching penetration.
Terry Castle, author of The Female Thermometer and The Apparitional Lesbian.

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