Review of “Those — Dying Then” (1882)
Emily Dickinson (writer).
Read in 2021.
“Those” are the early Christians of mythology, contrasted here against modern people after an “abdication of Belief”. Perhaps Dickinson means agnosticism or a watered-down, deanthropomorphized deism, but it sounds as though, by this point, she includes herself among the atheists of “How Much the Present Moment Means” (1876/1877), pining for her own past naïvité, even wishing for a spark of false belief. This seems to capture the mood of the 1880s well.
References here: “No Ladder Needs the Bird but Skies” (1883).