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Enigmatic Bliss

The Paradise Motif in Literature

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Ingrid Daemmrich

What power has assured the continual fascination of writers with paradise? This book suggests that the answer lies in the complex, dynamic, and enigmatic roles offered by adopting paradise as a literary motif. Once it has shifted from myth to a flexible component of literary texts, it builds diverse significations and contexts into a recognizable literary construct and then plays these against each other in a fluid series of ambiguities and enigmas. This process encourages ever new contextualizations of paradise in response to changing cultural, technological, and social conditions.