'Life as Literature': Wright Morris's 'Love Among the Cannibals'
23 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2008
Date Written: 17 April 2008
Wright Morris's 1957 novel Love Among the Cannibals is perhaps the most powerful study of the obstacles to the individual's claiming ownership of his language, his loves, and the stories he tells or projects about these loves. The novel presents two modes of overcoming these obstacles: vitalism, seeking an embodied experience beyond language, and life as literature, enriching one's embodied experiences through the permanent achievements of language in literature. Love Among the Cannibals is not a vitalist tract - it is instead, I argue, an ironic critique of vitalism.
Keywords: Wright Morris, Bergson, vitalism, cliche, D. H. Lawrence
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