The Hopkins Society sixth annual Hopkins lecture: Hopkins the Englishman.
THIS sixth annual Hopkins lecture was the first of two notable events in the English Hopkins society calendar. The coming December would mark the one hundredth anniversary of Hopkins's famous ode, The Wreck of the Deutschland, and the placement of the memorial stone honoring him in Westminster Abbey. Professor Bergonzi was not primarily a Hopkins scholar though he had written about Hopkins from a literary historical perspective. He had also written about English Catholicism in 1965 and he authored a biography of Hopkins in 1977. He later participated in the University College, Dublin Hopkins Conference in 1984.
In his lecture, "Hopkins the Englishman," Bergonzi used the last stanzas of The Wreck of the Deutschland to examine the character of Hopkins's allegiance to British nationalism, religion, and literary culture. Bergonzi detailed the status of British Catholicism at the time of Hopkins's conversion, the strains on Hopkins's patriotism after he became a Jesuit, the strength and oddity of his support of the Empire, and his attitudes and feeling about Reformation England, still in sway in his lifetime. He depicted Hopkins as a loyal Englishman, dedicated but troubled. He closed his lecture with a quote from Hopkins's letter to R.W. Dixon, defending Wordsworth's "immortality ode": "For my part, I shd. [sic] think St. George and St. Thomas of Canterbury wore roses in heaven for England's sake on the day that ode, not without intercession, was penned...." Bergonzi closed his lecture with the comment, "This enchanting notion brings together Hopkins's love of poetry, his religion, and his patriotism. And only Hopkins could have expressed it quite so vividly."
THE HOPKINS SOCIETY SIXTH ANNUAL HOPKINS SERMON: BY THE REVEREND PROFESSOR ULRICH SIMON, D.D. PREACHED AT ST. JOHN'S CHURCH, HAMPSTEAD, LONDON, N.W. 3, SUNDAY, JUNE 9, 1974, ON THE 130TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS
REVEREND Simon was a professor of Christian literature at King's College, University of London. Fr. Alfred Thomas did not report on his selection or sermon in The Hopkins Research Bulletin no. 7.
The sermon, "Hopkins and Alienation," discussed the theme of suffering and the alienation that accompanies it. He read Hopkins's poetry as not being inspired only by his personal pains, religious and physical, but also by his writing poetry, in Simon's view, one of his most troublesome torments. Simon attempted to place Hopkins in a line of such despairing writers as Holderlin and Kafka. Hopkins's desolation, Simon asserted, eventually brought him to feel that God had abandoned him, as the last dark sonnets attest. Hopkins was left to trust in God's "trumpet-crash" to rescue him from final alienation. Simon said of Hopkins, "He belonged to that prophetic band who suffered from Christianity. How I wish he and Kierkegaard could have met. The system which performed the anti-miracle of 'turning wine into water' (Kierkegaard) killed Hopkins, but it also evoked in him the dialect of salvation through alienation."
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|Title Annotation:||Gerard Manley Hopkins|
|Publication:||Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature|
|Date:||Jun 22, 2005|
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