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A dream of peace : art and death in the fiction of John Gardner

Author: Ronald Grant Nutter
Publisher: New York : Peter Lang, ©1997.
Series: Modern American literature (New York, N.Y.), v. 9.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
The American novelist John Gardner died in a motorcycle accident in 1982. His novels, in which death and guilt are brooding presences, continue to attract attention. This study reviews Gardner's life and work, examining how his own tragic past prodded him to explore life's deepest mysteries. It breaks new ground by demonstrating how the philosophies of Susanne Langer and Alfred North Whitehead greatly influenced his
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Nutter, Ronald Grant, 1948-
Dream of peace.
New York : Peter Lang, ©1997
(OCoLC)643996117
Named Person: John Gardner; John Gardner; John Gardner; John Gardner; John Gardner; John Gardner
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Ronald Grant Nutter
ISBN: 0820433683 9780820433684
OCLC Number: 34675906
Description: 236 pages ; 24 cm.
Contents: 1. A Story of a Death --
2. Some Intellectual Antecedents --
3. Of Pattern-Making and Art --
4. Pilgrimages Toward Death --
5. Isolation by Guilt --
6. Pilgrimage Toward Life --
7. Freedom and Responsibility --
8. Self-Reliance and Redemption --
9. Death, Guilt and Ritual Beginnings --
10. Magic, Celebration and Novelty --
11. Whitehead, Gardner and Peace.
Series Title: Modern American literature (New York, N.Y.), v. 9.
Responsibility: Ronald Grant Nutter.

Abstract:

The American novelist John Gardner died in a motorcycle accident in 1982. His novels, in which death and guilt are brooding presences, continue to attract attention. This study reviews Gardner's life and work, examining how his own tragic past prodded him to explore life's deepest mysteries. It breaks new ground by demonstrating how the philosophies of Susanne Langer and Alfred North Whitehead greatly influenced his thought.

Gardner wrote that fiction is a "vivid and continuous dream." Drawing on the fields of philosophy, religion, psychology, anthropology, and ritual studies, it becomes clear that the vision he would have us dream is a vision of "peace," a Whiteheadian notion that says life is meaningful despite the ongoing presence of intractable evils like death and guilt.

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