(This book cannot be returned.)
Doctrine and Difference: Readings in Classic American Literature aims to expand and deepen the inquiry begun in the volume from 2007. Beginning with an essay on the avowedly Puritan poetry of Anne Bradstreet and ending with two not-quite-secular novels from late in the 19th century, this volume seeks to uncover the religious and philosophical meanings deeply embedded in so much of 19th century American literature, and then, importantly, to identify and analyze the techniques by which the "doctrines" are differentiated into imaginative literature. Poe, Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Melville-and yes, even Howells and James-are driven by powerful thematic intentions. But they do not preach: they dramatize. And, as they talk their way through their existential issues, they often talk to one another: yes, no, maybe, ok but not so fast. Stressing the idea of a shared, poet-Puritan inheritance, the new Doctrine and Difference means to re-confirm the vitality of literary history and, in particular, the importance of reading the classic texts of American literature in context and in relation.
About the Author
Michael J. Colacurcio was born in Cincinnati and educated there by Jesuits. He took his Ph.D. at Illinois in 1963 and went to work at Cornell, moving to UCLA in 1985, where he is now a Distinguished Professor. Winner of teaching awards at both universities and, since 2007, a member of the American Society of Arts and Sciences, his works include The Province of Piety (1985), Doctrine and Difference (1997), Godly Letters (2006), and Emerson and Other Minds (2020).