Melvilles Protest Theism: The Hidden and Silent God in Clarel Stan Goldman

ISBN: 9780875801742

Published: February 1st 1993

Hardcover

211 pages


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Melvilles Protest Theism: The Hidden and Silent God in Clarel  by  Stan Goldman

Melvilles Protest Theism: The Hidden and Silent God in Clarel by Stan Goldman
February 1st 1993 | Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, RTF | 211 pages | ISBN: 9780875801742 | 4.11 Mb

Written over a period of almost twenty years, Clarel is Melvilles last major literary work to be published before his death in 1891. Although it represents a lifetime of philosophical and theological speculation, the poems intimidating length andMoreWritten over a period of almost twenty years, Clarel is Melvilles last major literary work to be published before his death in 1891.

Although it represents a lifetime of philosophical and theological speculation, the poems intimidating length and complex syntax have caused Americanists and even many Melvilleans to overlook its critical role in the interpretation of Melvilles thought. In this groundbreaking analysis of Melvilles major poetic work, Clarel, Goldman draws on extensive biblical and textual research, as well as on his own rabbinical training, to trace the intertextual, dialogical relationship between the poem and the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.

Through a close examination of Clarel within biblical, theological, and narratological contexts, Goldman demonstrates how Melvilles religious outlook paradoxically combines doubt and faith, despair and hope, anger and love, seriousness and scathing irony.

The first book-length study of Clarel to appear in twenty years, Goldmans work sheds critical light on one of the most vexing questions in Melville studies, the extent of Melvilles religious belief. Goldman demonstrates that Melvilles theological reflection in Clarel represents protest theism, that is, an attempt to find or to establish the limits within which faith is possible and existence endures and has meaning. The nonsectarian, nondogmatic faith proclaimed in Clarel, Goldman explains, protests and laments human fate yet also embraces renewed commitment to God.

In reading Clarel intertextually with the Bible, Goldman moves beyond setting, character, plot, and symbol - on which most critics have focused - to illuminate both the narrative voices and the theological complexity of Clarel. His reading of the poems mosaic of biblical quotations, allusions, and glosses demonstrates the centrality of biblical literature to Clarel and to our understanding of Melvilles mature theology.



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