American Madonna

American Madonna : Images of the Divine Woman in Literary Culture

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Description

This text explores a notable if unlikely undercurrent of interest in Mary as mythical Madonna, that has persisted in American life and letters from fairly early in the 19th century into the later 20th. This imaginative involvement with the Divine Woman - verging at times on devotional homage - is especially intriguing as manifested in the Protestant writers who are the focus of this study: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Margaret Fuller, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harold Frederic, Henry Adams, and T.S. Eliot. The author argues that flirtation with the Marian cultus offered Protestant writers symbolic compensation for what might be culturally diagnosed as a deficiency of psychic feminity, or "anima" in America. He argues that the literary configurations of the mythical Madonna express a subsurface cultural resistance to the prevailing rationalism and pragmatism of the American mind in an age of entrepreneurial conquest.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 191 pages
  • 150 x 230 x 20mm | 433g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 019511261X
  • 9780195112610