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Join us on Zoom for a conversation with Dr. Devin Zuber and Rev. Nate Klug on their latest publications:
• A Language of Things: Emanuel Swedenborg and the American Environmental Imagination, Dr. Devin Zuber (University of Virginia Press)
Long overlooked, the natural philosophy and theosophy of the Scandinavian scientist-turned-mystic Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) made a surprising impact in America. Thomas Jefferson, while president, was so impressed with the message of a Baltimore Swedenborgian minister that he invited him to address both houses of Congress. But Swedenborgian thought also made its contribution to nineteenth-century American literature, particularly within the aesthetics of American Transcendentalism. Although various scholars have addressed how American Romanticism was affected by different currents of Continental thought and religious ideology, surprisingly no book has yet described the specific ways that American Romantics made persistent recourse to Swedenborg for their respective projects to re-enchant nature.
In A Language of Things, Devin Zuber offers a critical attempt to restore the fundamental role that religious experience could play in shaping nineteenth-century American approaches to natural space. By tracing the ways that Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Muir, and Sarah Orne Jewett, among others, variously responded to Swedenborg, Zuber illuminates the complex dynamic that came to unfold between the religious, the literary, and the ecological. A Language of Things situates this dynamic within some of the recent "new materialisms" of environmental thought, showing how these earlier authors anticipate present concerns with the other-than-human in the Anthropocene.
• Hosts and Guests: Poems, Rev. Nate Klug (Princeton University Press)
An exciting new collection from a poet whose debut was praised by Colorado Review as "a seduction by way of small astonishments"
Nate Klug has been hailed by the Threepenny Review as a poet who is "an original in Eliot's sense of the word." In Host and Guests, his exciting second collection, Klug revels in slippery roles and shifting environments. The poems move from a San Francisco tech bar and a band of Pokémon Go players to the Shakers and St. Augustine, as they explore the push-pull between community and solitude, and past and present. Hosts and Guests gathers an impressive range: critiques of the "immiserated quiet" of modern life, love poems and poems of new fatherhood, and studies of a restless, nimble faith. At a time when the meanings of hospitality and estrangement have assumed a new urgency, Klug takes up these themes in chiseled, musical lines that blend close observation of the natural world, social commentary, and spiritual questioning. As Booklist has observed of his work, "The visual is rendered sonically, so perfectly one wants to involve the rest of the senses, to speak the lines, to taste the syllables."
Attendees will receive a discount code for 30% off purchases of Nate Klug's book!
This event is online only