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Shelley, Bryan Keith 1949-

SHELLEY, Bryan Keith 1949-


PERSONAL: Born February 25, 1949, in Winston, ND; son of Keith G. (a jeweler) and Mildred Lenore (Wilson) Shelley. Ethnicity: "Mixed—basically white." Education: Bryan College, B.A. (English), 1971; Appalachian State University, M.A. (English), 1973; Breadloaf School of English (Middlebury College), M.Litt. (English), 1981; Oxford University, D.Phil. (English), 1986. Politics: "Conservative." Religion: Christian. Hobbies and other interests: "Pro-Life."


ADDRESSES: Home—20 Country Rd., Hendersonville, NC 28791. E-mail—[email protected]


CAREER: Bryan College, Dayton, TN, instructor in English, 1975-76; Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL, visiting assistant professor of English, 1989; Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC, associate professor of English, 1989—. Consultant, Oxford University Press and Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1996-99.


MEMBER: Modern Language Association, Keats-Shelley Association, C. S. Lewis Society of Oxford, National Association of Scholars, Dove Cottage Trust (Wordsworth).


WRITINGS:


Shelley and Scripture, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1994.

Contributor of articles to Review of English Studies and Wordsworth Circle.


WORK IN PROGRESS: Research on Lord Byron's Don Juan, and history in relation to literature.

SIDELIGHTS: Bryan Keith Shelley told CA: "The two main reasons for my writing are the satisfaction derived from integrating information and the sense that what I write about will fill in some of the gaps, albeit small ones, in the understanding of British Romantic authors.

"As a student of the critique as gnosis, I have studied authors who recognize the significance of gnosticism as a political, literary, and spiritual phenomenon, chiefly Hans Jonas, Eric Voegelin, Harold Bloom, Paul Cantor, and Ernest Lee Tubeson. Gnosticism is a general term for the syncretist cults of late antiquity that blended Jewish and Christian ideas with pagan and Platonic thought. But it can be used constructively to describe the way in which post-Enlightenment authors shape their visions or create their own system. In my first book Shelley and Scripture I interpreted the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley as a writer whose sensibility was gnostic in character mainly because of his dualistic outlook. He instinctively thought in oppositional terms: matter-spirit, darkness-light, the vulgar-the enlightened, etc., as did the gnostics who lived in the first centuries of Church history.

"Perhaps not surprisingly, the academic writing process for me works much like the model of poetic inspiration described by the Romantic poet William Wordsworth, who wrote of the 'spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.' Wordsworth added that such moments of creative energy were possible only because they were preceded by long meditation and study. And so it is with academic writing. The moments of integrating diverse materials and seeing connections comes after diligent preparation and analysis."

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