John Donne, Body and Soul

John Donne, Body and Soul

Ramie Targoff

Print publication date: 2013

ISBN: 9780226789637

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Abstract

For centuries readers have struggled to fuse the seemingly scattered pieces of John Donne's works into a complete image of the poet and priest. This book offers a way to read Donne as a writer who returned again and again to a single great subject, one that connected to his deepest intellectual and emotional concerns. Reappraising Donne's oeuvre in pursuit of the struggles and commitments that connect his most disparate works, the author shows that Donne believed throughout his life in the mutual necessity of body and soul. In chapters that range from his earliest letters to his final sermon, the author reveals that Donne's obsessive imagining of both the natural union and the inevitable division between body and soul is the most continuous and abiding subject of his writing.