New PDF release: Alternative Paradigms of Literary Realism

By Don Adams (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230101968

ISBN-13: 9780230101968

ISBN-10: 1349383600

ISBN-13: 9781349383603

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Collected Works 453–454) Bozoe’s solemn Sunday morning binge may be thought of as a travesty of transubstantiation, as her torpid life of spiritual unease in the apartment above the garage is a travesty of the heroic quest. Bowles’ central quester figures are not in search of happiness as an end in itself—the absence of which, as a motivating factor, may help to explain the confusion and dissatisfaction of readers who are trained by mimetic realism to assume such an object of fulfillment. What these quest figures are seeking is not physical and/or emotional gratification, but spiritual insight and knowledge, and this is what they all, in various manners, receive, with one is never quite totally in the world / 21 differing results.

The pilgrimage that Sadie unknowingly embarks upon when she sets off for Camp Cataract is more than a death march, however. It is also an awakening out of the self-induced slumber of her life of anxious dissimulation in the family apartment. The shock of awakening into an awareness of her state of uprootedness ultimately proves too much for Sadie’s fragile mental being, but that she is able to achieve such a state of awareness is nevertheless a spiritual triumph. In her delusional scene with Harriet in the pine grove, the awakening is figured as a painful birth: She could no longer postpone telling Harriet why she had come .

Both of Bowles’ serious ladies are obsessed with finding and/or making a home in the world in which they may be truly at home and not merely superficially or temporarily so—a home that is in true relation to the world. Allegorically speaking, they are looking for a reality that is (truly) real (and really true). Weil writes in The Need for Roots that our modern malaise of uprootedness and homelessness is symptomatic of a world in which we have lost all sense of the relation between truth and reality: Truth is the radiant manifestation of reality.

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Alternative Paradigms of Literary Realism by Don Adams (auth.)


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