On the Shore of Nothingness: Space, Rhythm, and Semantic Structure in Religious Poetry and Its Mystic-secular Counterpart : a Study in Cognitive Poetics

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Imprint Academic, 2003 - Literary Criticism - 380 pages
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This book does not study religious ideas for their own sake, but how religious ideas are turned into verbal imitations of religious experience by poetic structure. Even such words as ‘ecstasy’ or ‘mysticism’ denote clear-cut concepts. The book investigates how such a conceptual language can convey such non-conceptual experiences as meditation, ecstasy or mystic insights. Briefly, it explores how the poet, by using words, can express the ‘ineffable’. It submits to close reading English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Armenian and Hebrew texts, from the Bible, through medieval, renaissance, metaphysical, and baroque poetry, to (secular) romantic and symbolistic poetry.
  

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Contents

Preface
7
Synopsis
11
Means Effects and Assumptions
19
Poem Prayer and Meditation
39
The Ultimate Limit Appresentation and Transcendence
55
Composition of Place Experiential Set and the Meditative Poem
87
Mystic Poetry Metaphysical Baroque and Romantic
119
The Sublime and the Absolute Limit
141
Visual and Auditory Ingenuities in Mystic Poetry
199
Oceanic Dedifferentiation Thing Destruction and Mystic Poetry
231
The Infernal and the Hybrid Bosch and Dante
263
Let There be Light and the Emanation of Light The Act of Creation in Ibn Gabirol and Milton
287
A Cognitive Analysis of Religious Imagery in Poetry
317
The Asymmetry of Sacred Sexual and Filial Love in Figurative Language
349
References
359
Index
369

Rhythmic Structure and Religious Poetry The Numinous the Infernal and Agnus Dei
167

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About the author (2003)

Reuven Tsur is professor emeritus of Hebrew Literature at Tel Aviv University.

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