Lost Intimacy in American Thought engages Henry David Thoreau, Stanley Cavell, Hanna Arendt, Henry Bugbee, Henry James, Bruce Wilshire, and others as exemplars of intimate, transformational writing that celebrates subtle mutual recognitions and encounters with place, that articulates limit conditions of birth and death, and modulations of grief and delight. Mooney traces writers who crisscross between literature, religion, and philosophy, in exploration that renews affect and sensibility. Through passionate address, they provoke and energize occluded corners and aspects of memory, and release our capacity to hear that fugitive murmur, the soul. These writers, and the essays written in stride with them, enact a hermeneutics of charity and love, of praise and appreciation, and thus set aside strategies of expanding suspicion. Ortega calls this a matter of writing salvations delivering essays that provide neither information nor critique but deliver evocations that cut through trauma and darkness to preserve even a modicum of love of the world and the things that inhabit it, to bring back trembling from the dead words and worlds worth saving.

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