Literature as Sheltering the Human
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The first section of the book deals with the births of language and literature from consciousness, and the formation of literary history. Explores Husserl's mapping of the origins of language, and subsequent language theories in Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, and Heidegger. Section Two traces privileged Homeric shelters such as the bowers off the battle-line in the Iliad and hidden islands like Ogygia in the Odyssey. It tracks that same language-sheltering into several Biblical wombs -- Sarai's, Mary's or Jonah's whale's, and turns from these to language shelters constructed by Sappho for her passion, Saint Paul for inner salvation, and by the creator of the Bhagavad Gita. The final section looks at the intimate intermeshing of literature and music with the Zeitsgeist, and finally, locates the impulse to literature and all art in the pulse of biology.
"The book is remarkable for an intense and bald aestheticism that is exceedingly rare today. . . . Will calls himself a 'fallen contemporary classicist,' praises 'high-minded eclecticism,' and favors those thinkers who 'sensualize knowing.' These traits make for a rare voice singing in the cornfields of Iowa." - Philosophy and Literature
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