Monday, September 20, 2010

Remind me again...Why am I studying the Puritans?

[The great American Puritan works are] quite good enough to be read through, in their entirety, by all who imagine themselves capable of taking pleasure in the way human tones reveal themselves in a language once vividly expressive but available to us now merely as writing; and in the way writers invent or arrange their own structures of thought in order to encompass other structures of thought, equally human in origin, whether Scriptural or merely systematic, and so to express and transmit the results of their private meditation and social conversation on the most serious of human subjects.  To be read…by any critic who has ever wondered…whether there is more to literary life than ‘Poems and Stories.’ (xvii)
-Michael Colacurcio  
Godly Letters   

For in that first century, primitive conditions of life and the Puritan culture conspired to produce a literature distinguished by closeness to fact, energy and vividness of expression, and at times a soaring imagination.  Rarely has the mind worked with greater vigor and penetration than in the early New England community; rarely has the written word been used more effectively; rarely has the human spirit burned with an intenser, brighter flame.
-Randall Stewart
"Puritan Literature and the Flowering of New England"

Now I'm ready to keep reading!


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