From the Jan/Feb, 2012 issue of Touchstone
literature Never Absolute Zero by David Haddon

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Never Absolute Zero

David Haddon on Jack London’s Failure to Keep Morality Out of “To Build a Fire”

Dr. Louise Cowan, longtime professor of literature at the University of Dallas, taught that an analysis of a work of literature is not complete until the critic has evaluated it not only at the literal, allegorical, and moral levels, but also at the anagogic level—the critic must evaluate the work’s relation to ultimate spiritual reality. Thus, at the two highest levels, we must compare the morality and metaphysics discernable in an artist’s narrative with the moral orde . . .


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