Journal Article

Arthur Machen: Ecstasy and Epiphany

Nicholas Freeman

in Literature and Theology

Volume 24, issue 3, pages 242-255
Published in print September 2010 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online June 2010 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/frq032
Arthur Machen: Ecstasy and Epiphany

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This essay examines the treatment of epiphany in the fiction of Arthur Machen from 1894 to 1922. It argues that whereas modernist writers often preferred to detach the notion of epiphany from its originally spiritual context, Machen’s characters experience versions of it inflected by pagan and Christian religious practice. Accompanying this was his evolution of ‘ecstasy’ as a literary concept; the essay explores the way that the two ideas were fused in fiction such as The Hill of Dreams (1907), The Great Return (1915) and The Secret Glory (1922).

Journal Article.  6690 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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