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Spirits of Place in American Literary Culture$
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John Gatta

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190646547

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190646547.001.0001

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Spirits of Pilgrimage, Peregrination, and Re-Placement

Spirits of Pilgrimage, Peregrination, and Re-Placement

(p.57) 2 Spirits of Pilgrimage, Peregrination, and Re-Placement
Spirits of Place in American Literary Culture

John Gatta

Oxford University Press

Movement, immigration, and pilgrimage have long been keynotes of American experience. Following the opening chapter’s attention on the spiritual inscape of home dwellings, this chapter concerns itself with the spirituality of motion, re-placement, and pilgrimage as reflected in American works of literary imagination. Lead characters in this story include travelers, explorers, and would-be pilgrims as well as resettlers—that is, those who leave their place of birth to adopt another as their own. The religious implications of these peregrinations and adoptions are considered in relation to prose texts by Carolyn Servid, Barry Lopez, John Muir, N. Scott Momaday, Gary Snyder, and others. These texts often associate their spirituality of place with reverence for what’s found in the going there rather than in the getting there. Developing the theme of localism versus globalism, this chapter concludes by assessing two versions of globally engaged localism as represented in works by Wendell Berry and David Haskell.

Keywords:   Carolyn Servid, N. Scott Momaday, John Muir, Gary Snyder, Wendell Berry, David Haskell, pilgrimage, resettlement, localism, globalism

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