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The Resource From an existential vacuum to a tragic optimism : the search for meaning and presence of god in modern literature, Barbara A. Heavilin, (electronic resource)

From an existential vacuum to a tragic optimism : the search for meaning and presence of god in modern literature, Barbara A. Heavilin, (electronic resource)

Label
From an existential vacuum to a tragic optimism : the search for meaning and presence of god in modern literature
Title
From an existential vacuum to a tragic optimism
Title remainder
the search for meaning and presence of god in modern literature
Statement of responsibility
Barbara A. Heavilin
Creator
Subject
Language
eng
Summary
Annotation:
Cataloging source
CaPaEBR
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Heavilin, Barbara A
Dewey number
809.3938211
LC call number
PQ145.1.G6
LC item number
.H438 2013eb
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • God in literature
  • Meaning (Philosophy) in literature
  • Religion and literature
Summary expansion
From an Existential Vacuum to a Tragic Optimism: The Search for Meaning and the Presence of God in Modern Literature employs a new theoretical approach to critical analysis: Victor Frankl's logotherapy (from the Greek "logos" for word or reason and often related to divine wisdom), a unique form of existentialism. On the basis of his observations of the power of human endurance and transcendence - the discovery of meaning even in the midst of harrowing circumstances - Frankl diagnoses the malaise of the current age as an "existential vacuum," a sense of meaninglessness. He suggests that a panacea for this malaise may be found in creativity, love, and moral choice - even when faced with suffering or death. He affirms that human beings may transcend this vacuum, discover meaning - or even ultimate meaning to be found in Ultimate Being, or God - and live with a sense of "tragic optimism." This book observes both the current age's "existential vacuum" - a malaise of emptiness and meaninglessness - and its longing for meaning and God as reflected in three genres: poetry, novel, and fantasy. Part I, "Reflections of God in the Poetic Vision," addresses "tragic optimism" - hope when there seems to be no reason for hope - in poems by William Butler Yeats, T. S. Eliot, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Gerard Manley Hopkins. Part II, "American Angst: Emptiness and Possibility in John Steinbeck's Major Novels," presents a study of Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, and The Winter of Our Discontent - novels that together form a uniquely American epic trilogy. Together these novels tell the story of a nation's avarice, corruption, and betrayal offset by magnanimity, heroism, and hospitality. Set against the backdrop of Frankl's ways of finding meaning and fulfillment - all obliquely implying the felt presence of God - the characters are representative Every Americans, in whose lives are reflected a nation's worst vices and best hopes. Part III, "A Tragic Optimism: The Triumph of Good in the Fantasy Worlds of Tolkien, Lewis, and Rowling," defines fantasy and science fiction as mirrors with which to view reality. J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, C. S. Lewis's That Hideous Strength, and J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series are considered in the light of Frankl's logotherapy - providing paths to meaning and the ultimate meaning to be found in God. In a postmodern, fragmented age, these works affirm a continuing vision of God (often through His felt absence) and, also, a most human yearning for meaning even when there seems to be none - providing, as Frankl maintains, "a tragic optimism."
Label
From an existential vacuum to a tragic optimism : the search for meaning and presence of god in modern literature, Barbara A. Heavilin, (electronic resource)
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Control code
OCM1bookssj0001411152
Dimensions
unknown
Isbn
9781443852418
Note
Electronic reproduction. Palo Alto, Calif. : ebrary, 2014. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ebrary affiliated libraries.
Specific material designation
remote
System control number
(WaSeSS)bookssj0001411152
Label
From an existential vacuum to a tragic optimism : the search for meaning and presence of god in modern literature, Barbara A. Heavilin, (electronic resource)
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Control code
OCM1bookssj0001411152
Dimensions
unknown
Isbn
9781443852418
Note
Electronic reproduction. Palo Alto, Calif. : ebrary, 2014. Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to ebrary affiliated libraries.
Specific material designation
remote
System control number
(WaSeSS)bookssj0001411152

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