Experience and Faith: The Late-Romantic Imagination of Emily Dickinson

Experience and Faith: The Late-Romantic Imagination of Emily DickinsonRichard Brantley

Palgrave Macmillan, 2004
ISBN: 1403966303

The empirical/evangelical dialectic of Romantic Anglo-America culminates in the poetry of Emily Dickinson (1830–86). For example, just as her poems of science and technology reflect her faith in experience, and just as her lyrics about natural history build on this empiricism and develop her commitment to natural religion, so too do her poems of revealed religion constitute her experience of faith. Thus, for an American audience, Dickinson recasts British-Romantic themes of natural and spiritual perception. This double perspective, this counterintuitive combination of natural models with spiritual metaphors, parallels the androgynous ideal of her nineteenth-century feminism and champions her belief in immortality. The experience/faith paradox of her Late-Romantic imagination forms the mind and soul, as well as the heart, of her legacy.

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