Bergsonian "vitalism" challenged the dominance of Spencerian
determinism in the early twentieth century and seemed to offer a
new foundation for belief in human freedom and individual
possibility. Quirk traces the impact of Bergsonism upon the
American sensibility and shows how individual writers --
particularly two such different artists as Willa Cather and Wallace
Stevens -- appropriated vitalistic notions and made them serve the
peculiar requirements of their own unique creative
Originally published in 1990.
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