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Inventing the Language to Tell ItRobinson Jeffers and the Biology of Consciousness$
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George Hart

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823254897

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823254897.001.0001

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Robinson Jeffers’s Sacramental Poetics

(p.1) Introduction
Inventing the Language to Tell It

George Hart

Fordham University Press

The introduction places Jeffers’s sacramental poetics in the contexts of literary modernism and environmental history, arguing that his achievement has been neglected in literary history because of the dominance of experimental modernism, whereas he is often placed at the center of twentieth-century environmental history because he locates divinity in material nature. The dominant form of modernist nature poetry treats the divinity of nature as an epistemological problem, and it thereby leaves the poet in the position of choosing transcendent divinity or purely material nature. Jeffers refuses to choose either side of this dualism and instead sees the divinity of nature as an ontological issue, one which requires belief rather than scepticism to create a dialectic between spirit and matter.

Keywords:   modernism, environmental history, dualism, epistemology

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