Emily Dickinson and the Art of Belief

Emily Dickinson and the Art of Belief

Emily Dickinson and the Art of Belief

Emily Dickinson and the Art of Belief

Synopsis

Garnishing awards from "Choice, Christianity Today, Books & Culture," and the Conference on Christianity and Literature when first published in 1998, Roger Lundin's "Emily Dickinson and the Art of Belief" has been widely recognized as one of the finest biographies of the great American poet Emily Dickinson. Paying special attention to her experience of faith, Lundin skillfully relates Dickinson's life -- as it can be charted through her poems and letters -- to nineteenth-century American political, social, religious, and intellectual history. This second edition of Lundin's superb work includes a standard bibliography, expanded notes, and a more extensive discussion of Dickinson's poetry than the first edition contained. Besides examining Dickinson's singular life and work in greater depth, Lundin has also keyed all poem citations to the recently updated standard edition of Dickinson's poetry. Already outstanding, Lundin's biography of Emily Dickinson is now even better than before. From reviews of the original edition Lundin's gracefully written biography is a fine introduction for readers who know little about the life of Emily Dickinson; specialists too will profit from Lundin's portrait of her in the context of the cultural, political, and theological issues of her day and of the history of Christian thought. -- Dorothy Huff Oberhaus in "Emily Dickinson International Society Bulletin" Lundin gives us a magnificent literary biography, massively researched, elegantly written, subtly argued.... A work of haunting beauty. -- Grant Wacker in "Books & Culture" Well written, free of the swollen jargon that obscures so much academic writing, Lundin's study ofDickinson provides a thoughtful analysis of America's greatest poet and the God who always eluded her grasp. -- Martha Ackmann in "The Journal of American History" Rarely do reviewers read books they wish they had writte

Excerpt

One of the tragedies of modern life is the division of intellectual labor into disciplines. “Tragedy,” though, is probably not the right word, for, while this situation is self-inflicted and filled with irony, it allows neither expiation for practitioners nor catharsis for readers. Rather, the rendering of thought and writing into discrete fields of study appears to be welcomed since it affords multiplied opportunities for cognoscenti to exclude uninitiated outsiders, aspiring authorities to set up fiefdoms, and the programs of annual learned societies to parade the latest fashionable clichés. the greatest loss occasioned by acquiescing to rigid disciplinary boundaries is the distortion of reality. in fact, poets pray, biophysicists take their kids to the movies, novelists cash their checks, financiers bake bread, missionaries propagate the species as well as the gospel, jocks read books. No single vocabulary, no single set of intellectual insights, can encompass the breadth and depth of lived existence. When academic discourses deny or underestimate the wholeness of life, they cheat their adepts. and they cheat the rest of us, for readers need all the help we can get, and from every resource imaginable, if we expect to have even a chance to understand even a portion of the world that whirls about us.

Thankfully, there are many exceptions to the short-sightedness of . . .

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