Authorial Divinity in the Twentieth Century: Omniscient Narration in Woolf, Hemingway, and Others

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Bucknell University Press, 1997 - Literary Criticism - 152 pages
"Whatever a writer's religious assumptions and histories, the literary device of omniscient narration traps a writer into a pose as God, at least some sort of God, be it one the writer eschews, avows, or longs for. In this study, Barbara K. Olson examines the relationship between both the writer and the omniscient narrator to God." "Olson explains how modernists Ernest Hemingway and Virginia Woolf both illustrate how authors' particular styles of omniscience bear a reliable though variable relation to their own or their culture's particular conceptions of God." "The experience of novelists generally attests to perennial theological conundrums into which their creating and narrating have cast them - transcendence vs. immanence, providential care vs. cosmic capriciousness, determinism vs. freedom. Not surprisingly, such atheists as John Fowles and Ronald Sukenick have aimed their narrational experiments in omniscience at subverting what Fowles has called the "godgame" that this device requires. Such other writers as Flannery O'Connor, Graham Greene, and Murial Spark have predictably relied on the device as one consonant with their theistic assumptions."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Contents

Acknowledgments
7
Omniscient Narration
37
Who Thinks It? Process Theism and Woolfs
64
Copyright

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