All posts tagged: King James Version of the Bible

Lauren Groff’s Muse Is Unlike Any Other

Lauren Groff’s Muse Is Unlike Any Other

[ad_1] At some point during the winter of 1609–10, in Jamestown, Virginia, the starving English settlers are said to have begun eating one another. Meanwhile, back in London, the King James Version of the Bible, arguably the greatest work of prose in the English language, was receiving its final edits; it went to the printer the following year. Lauren Groff’s haunting new novel, The Vaster Wilds, doesn’t mention the King James Bible by name, or that its completion coincided with the horrors at Jamestown. But the confluence of these two events hovers in the background. The novel is set in and around the colony just before and during the Starving Time, as it came to be known, with flashbacks to London—and it has a biblical dimension of its own. The same two extremes of human experience are on display: both high spiritual striving and colonialism in all of its unhinged depravity. Think of the book as Groff’s marriage of heaven and hell. The spiritual seeker is the protagonist of the novel, a character Groff refers …