Inventing the Language to Tell It: Robinson Jeffers and the Biology of Consciousness

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Fordham Univ Press, Sep 1, 2013 - Literary Criticism - 174 pages
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From 1920 until his death in 1962, consciousness and its effect on the natural world was Robinson Jeffers's obsession. Understanding and explaining the biological basis of mind is one of the towering challenges of modern science to this day, and Jeffers's poetic experiment is an important contribution to American literary history no other twentieth-century poet attempted such a thorough engagement with a crucial scientific problem. Jeffers invented a sacramental poetics that accommodates a modern scientific account of consciousness, thereby integrating an essentially religious sensibility with science in order to discover the sacramentality of natural process and reveal a divine cosmos.There is no other study of Jeffers or sacramental nature poetry like this one. It proposes that Jeffers's sacramentalism emerged out of his scientifically informed understanding of material nature. Drawing on ecocriticism, religious studies, and neuroscience, Inventing the Language to Tell It shows how Jeffers produced the most compelling sacramental nature poetry of the twentieth century.
 

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Contents

Biopoetics and the Biology
39
Brains Biology and Bioregion
61
The Inhumanist
89
The Discoveries of the Later Poetry
108
The Ieffers Influence and the Middle Generation
126
Notes
143
Bibliography
161
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About the author (2013)


George Hart is Professor of English at California State University, Long Beach. He edited, with Scott Slovic, Exploring Social Issues through Literature: Literature and the Environment.

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