This study reviews Gardner's life and work, examining how his own tragic past prodded him to explore life's deepest mysteries. It demonstrates how the philosophies of Susanne Langer and Alfred North Whitehead greatly influenced his thought. Gardner wrote that fiction is a 'vivid and continuous dream.' Drawing on the fields of philosophy, religion, psychology, anthropology, and ritual studies, it becomes clear that the vision he would have us dream is a vision of 'peace', a Whiteheadian notion that says life is meaningful despite the ongoing presence of intractable evils like death and guilt.
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Subtítulo: ART AND DEATH IN THE FICTION OF JOHN GARDNER