Iris Exiled is a critical history of wonder from the Bible and Homer to modern times. Dennis Quinn examines the subject in relation to various disciplines and modes of discourse- philosophy, theology, poetry, art myth, history, rhetoric, psychology, education, and modern science. Quinn shows that wonder, originally seen as the principle of philosophy and poetry and as a passion essential to the highest order of education, has been weakened by certain intellectual, cultural, and religious shifts during the past 600 years. The history is synoptic in two senses of the word: it is comprehensive but selective, and illustrative not exhaustive. Iris Exiled is presented from a single theoretical perspective, that of the original understanding of wonder as developed and set forth by such authors as Plato, Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas, John Ruskin, and Joseph Pieper, as well as a host of other writers of all kinds and from all eras of western history.
Dennis Quinn is Professor of English at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.
Chapter 1 Forward Chapter 2 Preface Chapter 3 Acknowledgments Chapter 4 Iris Observed: Chapter 5 The Name and Nature of Wonder Chapter 6 Iris Regnant: Wonder in Classical Antiquity and the Christian Era: Chapter 7 Youthful Wonder: The Greeks Chapter 8 Mature Wonder: The Romans Chapter 9 The Conversion of Wonder: The Christian Era Chapter 10 Iris Usurped: Wonder in the Modern Age: Chapter 11 The Early Modern Era Chapter 12 The Enlightenment Chapter 13 The Romantic Renaissance of Wonder Chapter 14 The Later Nineteenth Century Chapter 15 From Romance to Fantasy-and Beyond Chapter 16 Iris in Exile: Chapter 17 Modern Loyalists; Vive la Reigne! Chapter 18 Bibliography Chapter 19 Index Chapter 20 Author Biographical Sketch