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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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To Keep One’s Own Integrity

To Keep One’s Own Integrity

“The Inhumanist and the Crisis of Holism

(p.89) To Keep One’s Own Integrity
Inventing the Language to Tell It

George Hart

Fordham University Press

After achieving an integrated view of human consciousness and nature in the 1930s, Jeffers was thrown back into the dilemma of consciousness by the outbreak of World War II. As an isolationist, Jeffers opposed the U.S. entry into the conflict, and he increasingly used his poetry to protest the War. Such an intense concern with human affairs violated the holism he proclaimed in the 1930s, which requires that the poet view the organic whole rather than isolated parts. This chapter examines the crisis in Jeffers’s holism brought on by his protest poetry, and it argues that Jeffers was able to recapture his holistic integrity by developing a nonanthropocentric philosophy, which he called inhumanism, in his most environmental narrative poem, “The Inhumanist.”

Keywords:   holism, world war II, nonanthropocentrism, inhumanism

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