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In Ishmael, Professor James Baird responds to the increasing secularization of Western civilization and the creation of what he calls "authentic primitivism." For Baird, the aesthetic austerity of Protestantism undermined the structure of symbols created by Catholicism. In the absence of a meaningful structure of cultural authority in Western civilization, "primary art" took on a quasi-religious role by connecting humans to a transcendent being. Ishmael describes a new system of art, beginning around 1850, that supplanted Christian symbolism. Baird examines writers who helped to create a modern authentic primitivism, with emphasis on Herman Melville, whom Baird sees as a locus of change for the cultural significance of primary art. Baird provides a social history and biography of writers who participated in the primary art movement from 1850 to 1950

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. New Copyright
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  1. Half Title
  2. p. i
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  1. Title Page
  2. p. iii
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  1. Copyright
  2. p. iv
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  1. Dedication
  2. p. v
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. ix-xxii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xxiii-xxvi
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  1. A Note on Documentation and Translation
  2. pp. xxvii-xxviii
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  1. PART One: The Nature of Recent Primitivism
  1. I. Primitivism and Cultural Failure
  2. pp. 3-50
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  1. II. Perdita: The Volcanic Center
  2. pp. 51-80
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  1. PART Two: Ishmael: The Westward Mariner
  1. III. Melville’s Pacific Voyages: An Evaluation
  2. pp. 83-121
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  1. IV. The Perpetuity of Ishmael
  2. pp. 122-168
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  1. PART Three: Avatars: Symbols of Reincarnation from the Orient
  1. V. Obsession with the Primeval East
  2. pp. 171-200
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  1. VI. Puer Aeternus: Eternal Innocence
  2. pp. 201-225
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  1. VII. Polynesian Ethos
  2. pp. 226-255
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  1. VIII. Whiteness
  2. pp. 256-277
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  1. IX. Shadows and Erotic Symbols
  2. pp. 278-298
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  1. X. Tree and Cross
  2. pp. 299-316
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  1. XI. The Dragon Whale
  2. pp. 317-337
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  1. PART Four: Images from the Urwelt: The World before Civilization
  1. XII. The Sea and Aqueous Images
  2. pp. 341-359
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  1. XIII. Original Nature
  2. pp. 360-381
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  1. PART Five: Entombment: Christianity Revisited
  1. XIV. The Infernal City
  2. pp. 385-403
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  1. XV. The Holy Sepulchre
  2. pp. 404-428
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 431-445
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  1. Backmatter
  2. p. 446
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781421435657
Related ISBN
9781421435640
MARC Record
OCLC
1122724796
Launched on MUSE
2019-10-10
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
Funder
Mellon/NEH / Hopkins Open Publishing: Encore Editions
Creative Commons
CC-BY-NC-ND
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