Employing the metaphor of metempsychosis
, then, Donne invites his
But the bulk of the speech is a redaction of key tenets of Pythagoras's moral and natural philosophy: vegetarianism, the transmigration of the soul (metempsychosis
), the nature of the four elements, and mutability (the paradox of constant change).
This informative if not always limpid study of John Donne's Metempsychosis
(1601) does not make that poem fully clear--nobody could manage that--but as she follows the Edenic apple's soul through fifty-two stanzas (weeks?) of degeneration she offers a graduate course on Renaissance vegetables, animals, and human bodies, from the mandrake (a fine pair adorns the cover) to ...?
Both Catherine Macaulay and Mary Hays, in their writings, planted the seeds of a feminist-vegetarian discourse by embracing the doctrine of metempsychosis
and calling for a greater equality between not just the sexes but all creatures.
What animates these intimations is a continual sense of verbal metamorphosis as at once a counterpart to and constitutive of the larger metamorphoses: of life and death, of body and mummy, of the battles of the gods in their shape shifting, or that metamorphosis which is metempsychosis
, the transmigration of souls which in his different way the novelist himself emulates...
Theroux's lucid, articulate writing makes Strange Bodies 'literary,' but so too does the book's plot about a scholar whose knowledge of 18th century letters leads him into a sinister world of Russian-American conspiracies and forced metempsychosis
." EMILY DONALDSON
Critical interpretations ranging from the writer's belief in metempsychosis
and spiritism to Marina's alleged mental disorder, have led to speculations on Marina's double identity, centring on the psychological effects of her haunted mind.
Commenting on the novella's experiments with identity, Mark Osteen observes, "The Body Artist also traffics in metempsychosis
: both the literary kind, whereby patterns and motifs from previous texts are revived, and the human kind, whereby human beings return to life in altered forms" (65).
Dutton returns to his influential reading of Volpone as political satire in the wake of the Gunpowder Plot, reviewing previous arguments before examining the metempsychosis
drama in 1.2 alongside Donne's 'Metempsychosis
, or the Progress of the Soul'.
This is not the place to discuss what seems like a questionable theory of metempsychosis
and one of the most radical theories of mind-body dualism.