« The emotional autobiography of Emily Dickinson


Perhaps the best way to shine a light on the oddities of Emily Dickinson is to find someone of today who shares them. Given her eccentricities, and the way they concatenated with the cultural peculiarities of the increasingly distant past that she inhabited, this is not easy to do – any resemblance is sure to be only partial. But it is so difficult for normal people to understand her that insight must be purchased from any promising source. So let me put before the reader a picture of a contemporary writer who cares almost as little about the general circulation of his prose as she did about her poetry – someone who not only keeps a journal that mixes, like her poems, the personal and the philosophical, but who also writes whole essays and books and endlessly reedits them in search of a true and perfect expression of his thought.

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About Stephen Kennamer

For several years I have taught a course titled The Anthropology of Evil. I chose the term “anthropology,” not to indicate a restriction to the study of evil among primitive tribes, but rather to widen the lens to take in every relevant discipline: history, philosophy, theology, psychology, sociology, and current events.

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