Swedenborg’s ghost
in Dissolute characters
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The Swedenborgian-cum-Yeatsian notion of 'dreaming-back' one's earthly experiences after one's death is not simply a dramatic device existing in isolation from any larger body of belief. Swedenborgian correspondence provided a means whereby a central doctrine is extended to account for every detail of the visible world: The whole natural world corresponds to the spiritual world, not only the natural world in general but also in every particular. Uncle Silas, being the best known of Le Fanu's novels, can stand as typical, and it has the additional merit of explicitly citing Swedenborgian texts. Le Fanu's fiction deals with a number of themes which occur prominently in Honore de Balzac. These include Swedenborgian doctrines concerning not only ultimate spiritual truth but matters as immediate as marriage and sexuality.

Dissolute characters

Irish literary history through Balzac, Sheridan Le Farm, Yeats and Bowen

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