Circles of quiet: the journals of Madeleine L'Engle
LE3 .A278 1997
Master of Arts
English & Theatre Studies
This is a study of Madeleine L'Engle's published journals. I analyze the genre and literary criticism pertaining to it after I examine Mary Warnock's Memory. L'Engle's journals and fiction illustrate her conscious use of memory to explore and invent herself. Any writer, who is as conscious of these processes as L'Engle, requires that the reader understand her concepts of ontology and time. Thus, her references to isness, kairos and chronos are examined in relation to Transcendentalists like Henry David Thoreau and Annie Dillard who also share with L'Engle a fascination with natural and scientific detail. Furthermore, I examine those elements in L'Engle's writing which express her belief system: the need for a circle of quiet in her life, her life-long journey with faith and religion, and the healing power of words. The collection The Intimate Critique: Autobiographical Literary Criticism, edited by Diane P. Freedman, Olivia Frey and Frances Murphy Zauhar, and the article "Me and My Shadow" by Jane Tompkins inform the approach for my thesis. Personal criticism such as this allows me to include my own journal entries before each chapter. Finally I explore L'Engle's belief that story functions at an anagogical level to reveal deeper truth in both fiction and journals. Her experiences at the physical, emotional, and spiritual level deepen through her writing.
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