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By Joan Didion

Writing with the telegraphic swiftness and microscopic sensitivity that experience made her one among our so much special reporters, Joan Didion creates a shimmering novel of innocence and evil.A booklet of universal Prayer is the tale of 2 American ladies within the derelict crucial American state of Boca Grande. Grace Strasser-Mendana controls a lot of the country's wealth and understands almost all of its secrets and techniques; Charlotte Douglas is aware some distance too little. "Immaculate of historical past, blameless of politics," she has come to Boca Grande vaguely and vainly hoping to be reunited along with her fugitive daughter. As imagined by way of Didion, her destiny is instantly totally specific and fearfully emblematic of an age of conscienceless authority and unfathomable violence.

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These lines certainly confirm Dickinson舗s difficulties during this time, even though no one knows exactly what her 舠terror舡 was. This period, however, proved to be the most productive of Dickinson舗s life; between 1860 and 1865 she wrote an average of three hundred poems each year. Although Dickinson never married, her passionate poems, as well as a series of letters that have come to be called 舠The Master Letters,舡 suggest that she may have been deeply in love at least once; it remains in doubt whether the object of her affection was Charles Wadsworth, Otis Lord, her sister-in-law Susan, or indeed any real person.

P. 241) She is capable of considerable anger about the rift between humans and God: Is Heaven a physician? They say that He can heal; But medicine posthumous Is unavailable. (p. 30) Still, faced with this 舠unavailable舡 comfort, Dickinson responds not by giving up faith, but rather by constructing new versions of it. In several poems she asserts that the self舗s depths bring us as close to God as we can hope to come, and allow us a glimpse of what she calls 舠Finite Infinity舡 (p. 272): To be alive is power, Existence in itself, Without a further function, Omnipotence enough.

And telling Higginson, 舠Should you feel it breathed舒and had you leisure to tell me, I should feel quick gratitude舒舡 (Selected Letters, p. 171). Although Higginson may have been politically ahead of his time, his literary tastes were not quite as advanced; he suggested that Dickinson revise her unusual punctuation and syntax. Still, their correspondence, which lasted until the last month of her life, seems to have gone a long way toward helping Dickinson feel part of a greater literary community.

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