A World Abandoned by God: Narrative and Secularism by Susanna Lee

By Susanna Lee

It is a literary and philosophical examine that hyperlinks the assumption of secularism to the shape of the unconventional. It bargains a groundbreaking severe starting place either for knowing the stream towards a mundane tradition and for studying the function of the person in smooth moral, political, and non secular contexts.

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Additional info for A World Abandoned by God: Narrative and Secularism

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A god; he’ll even have, I say, / A bolt of lightning in his hand. / Tremble, humans; make vows and pray! / Behold the master of the land! So perfectly the artist did portray / His statue’s each and every trait, / That everyone who saw it claimed with no delay: / Jove lacked only power to orate. Of this artist it was even said: / On finishing his imitation, / He was first to quake in dread / And terror of his own creation. To match this sculptor’s flaw / The poet of antiquity was excellent, / In his great fear, respect, and awe / Of those very gods he did invent.

Hillis Miller’s comments on a God who has ‘‘slipped away from the places where he used to be’’ belongs to a strain of writing that understands 2: FLAUBERT’S SUPERIOR JOKE 51 the disconnection of the world from God as a disorienting philosophical and ontological phenomenon. This disorientation is the thematic and formal core of Madame Bovary. A modern historical phenomenon, the move to secularism is presented as an occasion for emptiness and hopelessness and also for narrative manipulation, as the ironic and secular author eliminates and then comes to substitute for God.

But this reading is totally unconvincing. Why would the totally formal resemblance between Julien Sorel and Louis Jenrel (their names are the anagrams of each other—a formal resemblance that Julien does not even fully grasp) predict a similarity in their fates? . ’’46 The principal objection here is that there is no reason to read this paper as an oracle, that an anagram in a church with blood-colored curtains does not constitute a prediction, much less point to a causal 42 A WORLD ABANDONED BY GOD chain.

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