Table of Contents: Issue 14

Editors: Barbara Vrachnas & James Leveque


Guest Article

The Sacred, the Sacrilegious, and the Elegiac in Dennis O’Driscoll’s Poetry: “Missing God” and Other Poems

Joseph C. Heininger, Assistant Professor of English, Dominican University

Joseph C. Heininger : The Sacred, the Sacrilegious, and the Elegiac in Dennis O’Driscoll’s Poetry: “Missing God” and Other Poems

Contemporary Irish poet Dennis O’Driscoll’s poetry has often been linked with Philip Larkin’s work in its general outlines and themes. As George Szirtes points out, O’Driscoll’s literary territory “is a place that at first sight appears to be bordering on Larkin country. . . Like Larkin he generally addresses himself to ordinary lives, to their ambit of hopes and disappointments.” O’Driscoll’s poetry seeks, as Szirtes has it, “not . . . to tell people how they should feel but to try to understand, to share and to give shape to [peoples’] feeling” (Szirtes, “Business of Being”).

Frank Ferrie : Investigating Claims of Eroticism in Images of the Annunciation

In late-medieval Europe growing interests in ‘man-centred’ philosophies, known subsequently as humanism, had profound effects upon art and literature. In the visual arts, which were dominated by Christian themes, there was an increasing tendency to depict biblical stories and those from the lives of saints realistically. In contrast to the schematic symbolism of medieval times, the figures and objects pictured in the Renaissance closely resembled those from everyday life. This new naturalism was particularly evident in the expanding urban centres of Florentine Tuscany.

Jenny Hollander : Exploring How William Blake Views The Sacred ‘Fall’ Of Judeo-Christianity As Triggering A Sacrilegious ‘Fall Of Man’, Utilising The Ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche

To make use of the term ‘fall of man’ is perhaps ironic; it is associated with a Miltonic, Judeo-Christian ‘fall’, which has a semantic implication of the sort against which Nietzsche battles when he begs for the ‘death of God’ to be absorbed into society’s reasoning. The sacred theological ‘fall’ of man from the faultless prelapsarian Eden to the fallible realism of Earth is far from how Blake, and indeed Nietzsche, understands man’s sacrilegious ‘fall’ to his present state.

Li-hsin Hsu : Sacred/Sacrilegious Tourism in Emily Dickinson's Poems

All the high positions and symbols, spiritual as well as profane, with which men adorn themselves with such importance and hypocritical falsity are transformed into masks in the presence of the rogue, into costumes for a masquerade, into buffoonery. A reformulation and loosening up of all these high symbols and positions, their radical re-accentuation, takes place in an atmosphere of gay deception (408).

– M. M. Bakhtin, The Dialogic Imagination (1981)

Lucy Linforth : ‘Numinous’ and ‘Negatively Numinous’ in Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Within the very first few lines of John Milton’s epic poem, Paradise Lost, a vivid and violent account is given depicting the momentous division of heaven, in which

Him the Almighty Power
Hurled headlong flaming from th’ethereal sky
With hideous ruin and combustion down
To bottomless perdition, there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fire,
Who durst defy th’Omnipotent to arms (Lines 45-49).

Emily Paterson-Morgan : Angels of Punishment and the Sword of God: Symbols of Justice or Tyranny?

He drove out the man; and at the east of the Garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3.24)

Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.

(Matthew 10.34)

Julia Boll : The Sacred Dragon in the Woods: on Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem

“Friends! Outcasts. Leeches. Undesirables,” Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron proclaims in Jez Butterworth’s 2009 play Jerusalem, “a blessing on you, and upon this beggars’ banquet. This day we draw a line in the chalk, and push back hard against the bastard pitiless busybody council, and drive them from this place for ever” (50).

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