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By Sharon Kim

This publication experiences literary epiphany as a modality of personality within the British and American novel. Epiphany provides an important substitute to standard types of linking the attention, the brain, and topic formation, an alternate that constantly draws the language of spirituality, even in anti-supernatural texts. This booklet analyzes how those epiphanies develop into "spiritual" and the way either personality and narrative form themselves like constellations round such moments. This learn starts with James Joyce, 'inventor' of literary epiphany, and Martin Heidegger, who used the traditional Greek strategies in the back of 'epiphaneia' to re-define the concept that of Being. Kim then deals readings of novels through Susan Warner, George Eliot, Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf, and William Faulkner, every one addressing a unique type of epiphany.

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Additional info for Literary Epiphany in the Novel, 1850-1950: Constellations of the Soul

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Rather than inventing a new methodology, this introduction simply makes clear that the chapters in my book are demonstrations of an attempt to talk about a spiritual manifestation in literary discourse in a manner commensurate with the work of existing theory. 16 In their nineteenth-century origins, anthropology and sociology assumed that religion was a trait of the “nonmodern” and prescientific, so they often studied religion as an element of primitive cultures that had not yet advanced properly in evolutionary terms.

Heidegger’s discontent with Roman civilization included an intellectual resistance to Roman Catholicism. Heidegger was the son of a Roman Catholic sexton and, like Joyce, received a Jesuit education, originally beginning with theology but ending in philosophy. According to biographer Hugo Ott, in the years before Being and Time, Heidegger felt uneasy that Aquinas’s Summa was required as the sole guide to Catholic theology (80). The enforced dominance of metaphysical reason may have led Heidegger to become more interested in the individual conscience and in theologies that allow more of an opening for it.

In Stephen Hero, he states more directly, “Claritas is quidditas” (213), “the moment which I call epiphany” (213). Long before Stephen’s theory, the association of epiphany with beauty had appeared in ancient Greek philosophy. Plato defines beauty with a word related to epiphany: ekphanestaton, which has been translated “that which most completely appears (Phaedrus 250d)” (Carne-Ross 251). Heidegger would later remark on this connection between poetic beauty and ekphanestaton in “The Question Concerning Technology” (1954).

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