The Hopkins Society fifth annual Hopkins lecture: Hopkins and literary criticism.
PROFESSOR William Wallace Robson was the Masson Professor of English at Edinburgh University. While a generalist scholar, he was a specialist on the literature of the Victorian Age, particularly the Victorian novels of Charles Dickens and Robert Louis Stevenson. His work is referenced by George H. Ford in his Victorian Fiction: Second Guide to Research (1978). Robson also was interested in the writings of Gerard Manley Hopkins. He wrote significant reviews in The Spectator of the publication of Hopkins's journals and spiritual writings, when they were first published. He also wrote a letter to The Times Literary Supplement on the subject of "Hopkins and Congreve" in 1950. He edited a volume entitled, Essays and Poems Presented to Lord David Cecil (1970). At the time of his lecture, he was preparing a volume in The Oxford Literary History of English Literature for the period 1880-1930.
In his lecture, Robson noted at the outset that there were two camps of literary criticism at that time: one approached literature without any set critical principles or system, relying mainly on the critic's "taste, judgment, and experience." The other was a criticism driven by a system of critical principals. Robson suggested another useful category of criticism, the unique critical stance of the poet as critic. This critical context allowed him to move into Hopkins's literary criticism, most of which occurred in his letters to Robert Bridges, R.W. Dixon, and Coventry Patmore. Robson offered generous quotes from Hopkins's letters to investigate his critical tastes, to illustrate his sharp literary insights as well as to show the detail and literary reach of Hopkins's critiques in his own words. In using this approach, the lecturer offered a sampler of Hopkins as critic and prose writer. Robson closed with a brief discussion of Ivor Winters's severe criticism of Hopkins's poetry, a shift that, in his view, opened up the next phase of Hopkins studies, a critical debate about Hopkins as critic and poet.
THE HOPKINS SOCIETY FIFTH ANNUAL HOPKINS SERMON: BY THE REVERED THOMAS CORBISHLEY, S.J. FORMERLY MASTER OF CAMPAIGN HALL, OXFORD PREACHED AT HOLY TRINITY CHURCH. ROEHAMPTON, LONDON, S.W. 15, SUNDAY, JUNE 8, 1973, ON THE 129TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS
FATHER Corbishely was educated at Campion Hall, Oxford. He entered The Society of Jesus in 1919. He served as Master Of Campion Hall from 1945-1958 and was Superior of Farm Street Church, London, from 1958-1966. The author of eight religious books, Corbishley was a frequent contributor to religious and literary journals.
As was frequently the case with other preachers of these sermons, Corbishley started by telling about his early encounters with the writings of Hopkins. He then moved on to recounting Hopkins's conversion, his entrance into The Society of Jesus, and his life as a Jesuit. In reading Hopkins, he asserted that in Hopkins he found powerful poetic reaffirmation of the Ignation sense of Creation and the Incarnation, emphasizing God's presence in Creation, and that all Creation bespeaks the presence of Christ's salvific hope. Fr. Corbishley affirmed strongly this Jesuit stamp on Hopkins's imagination, poetry, and life: "If life means anything at all, if it isn't just to end in frustration, in futility, in death and nothing else; if it means anything of value at all, that meaning is to be found in Christ, in the incarnate word who is the expression, the manifestation, the humanization, the concrete realization of the glory and wonder of God. This is the message of Gerard Manley Hopkins."
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|Title Annotation:||Gerard Manley Hopkins|
|Publication:||Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature|
|Date:||Jun 22, 2005|
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