The Gerard Manley Hopkins Archive 2008 is a free resource for everybody. Among lectures are: Editing the Letters of Victorian poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins; Gerard Manley Hopkins and Scottish Literature; New Light on the Dark Sonnets of Gerard Manley Hopkins; Hopeful Hopkins; Quantum Electodynamic Interpretations of Gerard Manley Hopkins; John Henry Newman and Translation
At present Oxford University Press are publishing the Collected Works of Gerard Manley Hopkins in eight volumes. The General Editors are Lesley Higgins and Michael Suarez and there are six other members of the editorial team, including Philip Endean, S.J., Jude Nixon, Kelsey Thornton and myself. Professor Lesley Higgins has already produced the Oxford Essays (vol. iv) and Professor Thornton and I are working on the letters, which will be the next part of the project to be published. The letters will appear in two volumes, arranged chronologically with the incorporation of as many replies as we can find. It will include alterations to the text and information about the envelopes giving posting times and places and be accompanied by extensive annotation. The volumes produced by Professor Thornton and myself are supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council of Great Britain, to whom we are very grateful, for the work would simply not be possible without their assistance.
Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-89) only spent two months in Scotland, in 1881, and mainly in Glasgow, but his legacy to modern Scottish literature is important and likely to be overlooked by critics specialising exclusively either in Scottish literature or Hopkins. He was thirty-seven years old when he visited and was to die only eight years later, aged forty-five. His residence produced one frequently anthologised and thoroughly memorable poem, 'Inversnaid',
Surrounding the "dark" or "terrible" sonnets that belong to Hopkins' Dublin years there is an indefinable aura of mystery, at once fascinating and terrifying. As he leaves his native England to take up his appointment as professor at the University College, Dublin, he feels a sense of evening, "earnest, earthless, equal, attuneable, vaulty, voluminous ... stupendous", settling upon his mind. What he feels not only in this poem, "Spelt from Sibyl's Leaves", but also in his life as a poet and a priest is the way "Our evening is over us, our night whelms, whelms, and will end us." What it is that he feels, in what it consists, whence it is derived, is all so mysterious, lending itself to an approach from so many angles, biographical, physiological, psychological, spiritual, or rather perhaps all together.
One review (1) of Norman White's Hopkins in Ireland concludes that White shows Hopkins to be 'a sick and self-lacerating human being'. Such a stark image of the poet in Dublin has become more-or-less received opinion. That Hopkins was at times depressed and unhappy in Ireland is well enough documented - nor do I wish to dispute it; but I do wish to question the undue emphasis on his melancholia, to the exclusion of another side of his complex personality. I would also hope to offer some corrective to what has become, perhaps, a simplistic and misleading view of the man and his work, especially during the Dublin years (Feb. 1884 to his death in June 1889).
Scholars and literary critics operate in the world of denotation. Authors and poets dwell in the world of connotation. Thus, there is frequently a rift between their two worlds. While we wouldn't really have Hopkins without Robert Bridges, or more contemporaneously, editors like Catherine Phillips or scholars like Paul Mariani, John Pink, G. F. Lahey, we really only have Hopkins because Hopkins wrote his poems.
John Henry Newman deals with the question of translation in two of the essays from the Idea of a University and in some introductions to his own translations. In The Idea of University , Newman gathers a series of conferences and studies connected with his foundation and guidance, as Rector, of the Catholic University of Ireland. Rich from his Oxford experience, as a student and as a tutor, he presented his educational ideal depicting what the University he was founding had to be. Therefore we are not surprised that The Idea of a University contains two long passages to reflections on translation, even if scholars never considered them worthy of attention.
Isadora Duncan, the revolutionary dancer/choreographer whose work influenced all subsequent Western concert dance, lived from 1877-1927, and would never have known Hopkins' poetry. Yet the primary inspirations for her dance-nature and the essential expressions of the human spirit, and the language she used to describe it, imply that the sensibilities which influenced Hopkins remained pervasive in the late 19 th century. While Duncan rejected religious affiliation, she said, "For art which is not religious is not art, is mere merchandise."
Last December a lively student of mine, a sophomore from Toronto, gave an interesting answer on his final exam for my Hopkins/Joyce course. The question, quoting the Irish novelist Roddy Doyle about Joyce's Ulysses , asked my students "what moved you" when you read Hopkins or Joyce ...
The truth is we do not enjoy masterless freedom; we are continually threatened by psychic factors which, in the guise of natural phenomena, may take possession of us at any moment. The withdrawal of metaphysical projections leaves us almost defenceless in the face of this happening, for we immediately identify with every impulse instead of giving it the name of the "other", which would at least hold it at arm's length and prevent it from storming the citadel of the ego ...
Read more about Dolben, Moral Masochism and the Will to Resist in Hopkins's early poetry
The influence of Romanticism on Hopkins' poetics has been generally accepted, but his view on Fancy has not been taken into consideration. In his essay, "Poetic Diction" (1865), Hopkins lays stress on the characteristics of Fancy later found in his works: "The Beginning of the End" (1865) and "The Wreck of the Deutschland" (1875). This presentation will review the transition of ideas on Fancy from Coleridge through Ruskin to Hopkins and examine how the term is used in Hopkins' works.
|| || Editing Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins || Fancy in Hopkins Poetics || Hopeful Hopkins || Dolben and Hopkins || Dancer Isadora Duncan and Hopkins Poetry || Hopkins and Water Imagery || The Dark Sonnets || Hopkins Interpretation || A Scottish Reading of Hopkins Poetry || John Henry Newman and Translation ||