Edith Wharton: Matters of Mind and Spirit
Edith Wharton: Matters of Mind and Spirit, first published in 1995, makes the case for Wharton as a novelist of morals rather than of manners; a novelist who sought answers to profound spiritual and metaphysical questions. Focusing on Wharton's treatment of Anglicanism, Calvinism, Transcendentalism, and Catholicism, Carol Singley analyzes the short stories and seven novels in the light of religious and philosophical developments in Wharton's life and fiction. Singley situates Wharton in the context of turn-of-the-century science, historicism, and aestheticism, reading her religious and philosophical outlook as an evolving response to the cultural crisis of belief. She invokes the dynamics of class and gender as central to Wharton's quest, describing how the author accepted and yet transformed both the classical and Christian traditions that she inherited. By locating Wharton in the library rather than the drawing room, Matters of Mind and Spirit gives this writer her literary and intellectual due, and offers fresh ways of interpreting her life and fiction.
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aesthetic Age of Innocence American Anna Anna's Archer argues artist Backward Glance beauty believed Calvinism Calvinist Catholic Catholicism century characters Charity Christian Church conventions critical culture Darrow Darwin Darwinian divine Edith Wharton Eliot Ellen Olenska England Ethan Frome example faith feel female feminine feminist Fullerton genteel George Eliot Givre Halo Hawthorne House of Mirth Hudson River Bracketed human intellectual Letters Lewis Lily Bart Lily's literary literature lover male marriage marry Mattie modernist moral mother narrator nature nineteenth-century notes novel original emphasis passion philosophical Platonic idealism Puritan R. W. B. Lewis religion religious role romantic Royall's Scarlet Letter Selden sense sentimental sexual social society Song of Songs Sophy Viner Sophy's soul spiritual story suggests T. S. Eliot Tlie Age Tlie Gods Arrive Tlie House Tlie Reef tradition truth values Vance Vance's Wharton's fiction Whitman Wliarton Wolff woman women writing York Zeena
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