Practical Conspectus

  • Richard E. Brantley


“Every work of a writer,” declares W. H. Auden, “should be a first step, but this will be a false step unless, whether or not he realizes it at the time, it is also a further step” (“Writing” [n. d.]).This work, in the spirit of this comment, keeps true to itself if, and only if, it looks behind itself to the works that precede it. Although Experience and Faith aims to be self-contained, with no prerequisite reading, it seeks to perpetuate “the fascination of what’s difficult” about the historical and critical interdisciplinary study with which I have long been associated (W B.Yeats, “The Fascination of What’s Difficult” [1910]). My ongoing effort to compose a complex harmony of ideas culminates in the fascination of Emily Dickinson’s difficult poems.


Experiential Vision Spiritual Experience Creative Tension American Religion Great Awakening 
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  1. 14.
    Frederick Crews, “Saving Us from Darwin, Part II,” The New York Review of Books 48 (October 18, 2001): 51–55.Google Scholar
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    Brantley , “Charles Wesley’s Experiential Art,” Eighteenth-Century Life, 11 (1987): 1–11.Google Scholar
  3. 71.
    I am indebted to untitled remarks delivered by James C. McKusick on December 28, 2000, at a luncheon arranged by the Wordsworth-Coleridge Association during the 116th Modern Language Association Annual Convention in Washington, D. C. See also McKusick A, “Stepping Westward,” The Wordsworth Circle, 32 (Summer 2001): 122–25.Google Scholar
  4. 73.
    See the report on Jed Deppman, “Dickinson’s Inner Bataille: The Definition Poetry,” in Gary Lee Stonum, “The Politics of the Sublime,” Emily Dickinson International Society Bulletin, 13 (November/December 2001): 27. See also Deppman A, “‘I Could Not Have Defined the Change’: Rereading Dickinson’s Definition Poetry,” The Emily Dickinson Journal, 11 (2002): 49–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Richard E. Brantley 2004

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  • Richard E. Brantley

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