Literary texts are more or less obliged to make reference to entities beyond themselves. Drawing on other texts, ideas previously written, on the resources of language, they make their attempts to communicate, entertain, enlist sympathy or even to offer counsel. Some texts profess an a priori vision, others adopt a style of reporting only contingencies.
A dialogic relation can be posited between the ideal and the real, heaven and earth, imagination and reason, langue and parole, essence and substance, poetry and prose. The poetic and creative impulse is engaged with an ever present need to purify the dialect of the tribe. The topics in Visions and Revisions reflect writers’ labours with form at whatever distance from the original sources of inspiration. The authors discussed include William Blake, Marilynne Robinson, Salman Rushdie, William Golding, John Irving, David Lodge, Sara Maitland and Hilary Mantel.
Verbal by definition, texts make use of other texts and are dependent on the cultural matrix. Readers are also writers in one kind or another. In both modes they may gain impetus or inspiration by re-visioning their origins as well as their ends. This book will offer readers new ways to understand the literary creations of some writers with affinities to the Western spiritual and specifically Christian tradition.