(13) Conventional responses to female masculinity are not kind, but this vastation
of male femininity reflects the asymmetry of sexual difference in masculinist culture.
The question drives Harold Bloom to write despairingly: "Nothing is alive in Isabella, and Shakespeare will not tell us why and how she has suffered such a vastation
Revel then is a masque, a danse macabre where truth is the ultimate realization of Vastation
, the existential and ecological crisis of the Waste Land.
This is one of Barbara Guest's most singular and sustained contributions to the American avant-garde: a quietist's vastation
and a whispered overthrow.
The interest of both James brothers in the phenomenon of conversion probably owed much to their father Henry James, Sr.'s own "vastation
" or conversion to Swedenborgianism, which took place in 1844.
As well, James was early exposed to mysticism through his father's Swedenborgianism (Henry James Sr's account of his mystical "vastation
" is reprinted in F.O.
From his black stones, in the latitudes of our vastation
, DeLillo, too, has made a miracle.
But our defining trait is divisiveness, separateness, spiritual vastation
, individual grievance elevated to general grief, exasperating variety heaving tumultuously now and again into exasperating uniformity.
misfortune nobly suffered, of vastation
of soul so irreparable.
The work of Peter Straub and a number of other contemporary writers characteristically open up where traditional horror shuts down; in the face of what Clute calls "vastation
," they seek to find room for something like the sacred.
The preliminary terms of this process emerge in James's own episode of "panic fear" (reminiscent of the 1844 "vastation
" experience of his father, Henry Sr.) that he presents as a "case" in The Varieties of Religious Experience, but later reveals as being in fact autobiographical.(3) Having entered his dressing-room one evening while in a pessimistic state, William was suddenly overcome by "a horrible fear of [his] own existence," a condition he refers to as a kind of soul sickness (Varieties 134).
James clearly provides the lesson of the master in this genre not only because his is a superior talent but because he, his father, and brother William all had experienced in some form a Swedenborgian "vastation
" or "unmanning contact with supernatural evil" (p.