The art of Emily Dickinson grants privilege to the imagination of natural and spiritual experience. Thus, as important as political and psychological consideration can be to aesthetics, the combination of philosophy with religion explains her poetry well. As distinct from the twofold hegemony of the twentieth century—namely, dialectical materialism in league with psychoanalysis—the experiential common ground between the empirical philosophy and the evangelical religion of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Anglo-American world nourishes the Late-Romantic optimism of “the lady whom the people call the Myth” (Leyda 2:357). Political economy and psychological insight occupy positions along, but no corner spot on, her traditional, as well as precocious, triangle. Empiricism and evangelicalism bracket the base thereof, and Anglo-American Romanticism forms the vertex.
KeywordsSpiritual Experience Dialectical Materialism Amherst College American Religion Romantic Irony
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