“Craved reality”: Perry Miller, Sinclair Lewis, and Puritanism
Keywords:American Religious History
AbstractIn the December 10, 1963 issue of The Harvard Crimson there was a brief eulogy for the recently-deceased professor Perry Miller (1905-1963). The unnamed author, perhaps a former student, paid homage to the Cambridge thinker with an appropriate lyricism. Miller, with lofty colleagues like F.O. Matthiessen and Kenneth Murdock, was one of the “giants [who] walked in Harvard Yard,” one whose presence came with “such energy, such force, such bigness” it made others at the university “feel small and mortal.” He averted traditional approaches to his craft, the author believed, because “he wanted to see the truth, as deep as you can see it, and get it down straight."