Richard E. Miller, the author of The Dark Night of the Soul, is an English professor/executive director of the Plan-genre Writing Center at Rutgers University. He studies the English curriculum in the U.S and questions if it is successful or a dying art. This is evident in The Dark night of the Soul,
It can be quite a shock to confront the possibility that reading, writing, and talking exercise almost none of the powers we regularly attribute to them in our favorite stories. The dark night of the soul for literacy workers comes with the realization that training students to read, write, and talk in more critical and self- reflective ways cannot protect them from the violent changes our culture is undergoing.
Miller through-out the essay describes his grievances of the loss of importance our society has placed on literature. Millers essay compares many other literary works to prove his point. He compares the following: the shootings in Columbine, The Information by Martin Amis, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauers, Meditations on First Philosophy by Rene Descartes, Joining the Liars Club by Mary Karr, and the experiment in institutional autobiography. In this essay we will define what the dark night of the soul is, what helped me get through my personal dark night of my soul, and whether the statement “the only way it is through statement is true.
Through writing this he is facing every English professors dark night of their souls. The dark night of the soul though is not just a writer’s grievance for a lost art, it is the soul’s journey through dark and troubling questions that draw you into the darkness of your past, your nightmares, your fears, and it is facing those giants, slaying those dragons. St. John of the Cross
has a book that describes what the dark night of the soul is, in his book titled: The Dark Night of the Soul. In this book he encourages the readers as they make their way through this difficult journey in order to be in a divine union with God. “Souls begin to enter this dark night when God, gradually drawing them out of the state of beginners, begins to place in the state of proficient, so that by passing through this state they might reach that of the perfect, which is the divine union of the soul with God”, quotes St. John. Miller though says that one can face their dark night of their soul by using the art of writing. “To write by virtue of their deep insights into the human spirit; that a world filled with artistic creations is superior to one filled with the cast offs of the consumer culture; that writing provides access to immortality.” Joining the Liars Club is a perfect example of someone using writing to face their past, their darkest part of their soul. “Writing, as she uses it, is a hermeneutic practice that involves witnessing the mundane horrors of the past in order to make peace with that past”, states Miller. The Dark night of one’s soul is a personal fear, past, journey that in the end you reach a sense of peace. ...