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American Madonna : Images of the Divine Woman in Literary Culture - John Gatta

American Madonna

Images of the Divine Woman in Literary Culture

Paperback

Published: 1st October 1997
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This book explores a notable if unlikely undercurrent of interest in Mary as mythical Madonna that has persisted in American life and letters from fairly early in the nineteenth century into the later twentieth. This imaginative involvement with the Divine Woman -- verging at times on devotional homage -- is especially intriguing as manifested in the Protestant writers who are the focus of this study: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Margaret Fuller, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harold Frederic, Henry Adams, and T.S. Eliot. John Gatta argues that flirtation with the Marian cultus offered Protestant writers symbolic compensation for what might be culturally diagnosed as a deficiency of psychic femininity, or anima, in America. He argues that the literary configurations of the mythical Madonna express a subsurface cultural resistance to the prevailing rationalism and pragmatism of the American mind in an age of entrepreneurial conquest.

"Brilliant....Gatta's study is a model for the kind of scholarship at which all of us, at our best, aim. It is fully researched, excellently composed, and full of insight."--Christianity and Literature "Gatta displays an enviable interdisciplinary mastery of his subject and demonstrates the widespread presence Mary has held in one form or another in American culture. Remarkable for its intelligence and depth."--Choice "Gatta's study is a model for the kind of scholarship at which all of us, at our best, aim. It is fully researched, excellently composed, and full of insight."--Joseph Schwartz, Marquette University "This study of a literary counterculture will be appreciated by all with interests in American literature, Marian piety, and the intersection of religious literary motifs and social reality."--Anglican Theological Review "...elegant study....clear, concise prose....wise and illuminating book."--Church History "Brilliant....Gatta's study is a model for the kind of scholarship at which all of us, at our best, aim. It is fully researched, excellently composed, and full of insight."--Christianity and Literature "Gatta displays an enviable interdisciplinary mastery of his subject and demonstrates the widespread presence Mary has held in one form or another in American culture. Remarkable for its intelligence and depth."--Choice "Gatta's study is a model for the kind of scholarship at which all of us, at our best, aim. It is fully researched, excellently composed, and full of insight."--Joseph Schwartz, Marquette University "This study of a literary counterculture will be appreciated by all with interests in American literature, Marian piety, and the intersection of religious literary motifs and social reality."--Anglican Theological Review "[A] well-written study....John Gatta has indeed identified a minor but distinctive literary refrain, and his proof texts are varied and ample enough to be convincing and suggestive of future conversation."--JAAR

Introductionp. 3
The Sacred Woman: The Problem of Hawthorne's Madonnasp. 10
Of Holy Mothers and Dark Ladiesp. 10
Hester's Divine Maternityp. 15
Queen Zenobia of Blithedalep. 20
The New England Maiden and the Fallen Goddess of The Marble Faunp. 26
Hawthorne's Search for Sacred Love: From Puritan Fathers to Divine Mothersp. 31
The Virginal Soul of Margaret Fuller's Woman in the Nineteenth Centuryp. 33
Queen Margaret's Mythmakingp. 33
"Her own creator": Images of Self-fashioning in Minerva, Leila, and Mary through 1844p. 34
The Mary Victoria of Woman in the Nineteenth Centuryp. 41
Calvinism Feminized: Divine Matriarchy in Harriet Beecher Stowep. 53
Godly Maternity and Motherly Jesusp. 53
Birthpangs of the New Order in Uncle Tom's Cabinp. 58
The Ministry of Mary in The Minister's Wooingp. 62
Other Appearances of the Madonna-Intercessor in Agnes of Sorrento, Poganuc People, and The Pearl of Orr's Islandp. 67
Sacrament of Mother-Love, Compassion of the Mater Dolorosap. 71
The Sexual Madonna in Harold Frederic's Damnation of Theron Warep. 72
The Post-Romantic Madonna of the Futurep. 72
Celia Madden: Catholic Madonna or Sex Goddess?p. 76
From Maya and Mary to the New Womanp. 84
The Unsettling Character of Soulsby and the Undoing of Warep. 91
Beyond Illusion: The Grace of Critical Realismp. 93
Henry Adams: The Virgin as Dynamop. 95
The Woman Unknown in Americap. 95
The Adamic Quest for New Evep. 96
"The place has no heart": Preserves of Womanly Grace in Democracy and Estherp. 99
Mary of Chartres as Personal Presence and Romantic Idealp. 105
Adams's Education: The Unknowable and Generative Womanp. 110
Eliot's Archetypal Lady of Sea and Garden: The Recovery of Mythp. 116
Myth, Modernism, and Lady Maryp. 116
The Sibyl and Belladonna of The Waste Landp. 118
Toward Our Lady of la Vita Nuovap. 121
Eliot's Soul Sisters: The Sacred and Profane Ladies of "Ash-Wednesday"p. 124
"Best Dead Madonna this side Atlantic": "The Dry Salvages" and the Quartetsp. 131
Epiloguep. 137
"Raphael's Deposition from the Cross," by Margaret Fuller; "Mary at the Cross" and "The Sorrows of Mary," by Harriet Beecher Stowe; Excerpt from "The Golden Legend" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellowp. 141
Notesp. 151
Indexp. 173
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195112627
ISBN-10: 0195112628
Series: Religion in America
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 192
Published: 1st October 1997
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.39 x 15.62  x 1.6
Weight (kg): 0.33