Download e-book for iPad: American Writers, Supplement VI by Jay Parini

By Jay Parini

ISBN-10: 0684806231

ISBN-13: 9780684806235

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Finally, this scene intimates Dillard's wry and athletic humor; she not only records the violence in life but undercuts the horror of her descriptions—here, with Einstein's humorous observation that "God is subtle . . " We see her effort, as in much American autobiographical narrative, to bring her—and the reader's—consciousness back to a balanced state. Autobiographical narratives invite a consideration of their complex audiences. " Autobiographies can range from personal, private writing, intended to preserve for the writer an "earlier" sense of self, to clearly public self-presentation.

Seeing a partial eclipse bears the same relation to seeing a total eclipse as kissing a man does to marrying him, or as flying in an airplane does to falling out of an airplane. " All of Dillard's work shows her fundamental investment in reinventing the relationship between nature, divinity, and humans. "THIS BOOK IS THE STRAYING TRAIL OF BLOOD": AESTHETICS, PASSION, AND VISION Although Dillard has written two books explicitly about writing, virtually all of her work maps out ANNIE DILLARD / 29 the necessary and difficult journey of the writer.

Suddenly we see the voracious bird transformed into a gen- tleman sipping a cocktail and standing decorously aside. Imagination, Dickinson suggests, can transform the most violent act to a humorous one in the turn of a phrase. In spite of her affirmation in An American Childhood that "I grew up in Pittsburgh in the 1950s, in a house full of comedians, reading books," Dillard has received far too little credit for her humor. We see this humor sprinkled liberally throughout her writing; even in the poignant Holy the Firm and Encounters with Chinese Writers, Dillard insists on the necessary, salvific function of humor.

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American Writers, Supplement VI by Jay Parini


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