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Reviews233 restoring to man some sense of individual freedom and, some sense of a social and universal destiny" (p. 81). The recasting of such Romantic commonplaces into such commonplace terms should prove an uncommonly effective classroom routine. The organic universe, that distinctively Romantic fiction, turns at first on presuppositions "of unity, of historicity, and of morality" (p. 108) predicated on the "fit" between mind (human nature) and nature. But with the almost immediate rupture of that uneasy fit (see Blake on Wordsworth), morality is replaced by the sublime spectacle of ordered power and with the unanswerable question of innocent suffering, the organic universe subsides, pretty vaguely, into "a context: a sense of endless creativity, but also a sense of limits" (p. 125). "Gothic," evidently reflecting meta-Romantic contraries meeting the Romantic ones, offers "a pessimistic protest to the optimism either of mechanistic science or of organic faith" (p. 131). This is the least satisfactory and the shortest chapter in the book, the problem being, perhaps, that "gothic" is opposed to identified individuality ("rash self-assertion is indeed a crime in the Gothic universe: one might almost say that it is the only possible crime" (p. 141) and as such is contrary to the author's contraries. The chapter closes with the "Ancient Mariner," leaving one to ponder the complete absence of Frankenstein. The final alternative is "the open universe and romantic irony," which offers "the minimum ofdestiny with the maximum of freedom" (p. 143); but since "most Romantics were more concerned to reassert a sense of destiny than to accept unconditioned freedom" (p. 145) it is "relatively atypical," indeed, "Enlightenment rather than Romantic." The establishment of this "closer affinity" of Romantic irony with "eighteenth century Enlightenment" (p. 166) is especially welcome and could be extended to benefit our understanding of Blake, for whom the "irony of ironies" culminates in the "self-annihilation" that is "intellect." With its attractive, useful, and accessible formulations, Romantic Contraries should encourage the renewing regard for the kind of historical scholarship it exemplifies. University of GeorgiaNelson Hilton Literature, Arts, and Religion, edited by Harry R. Garvin and James M. Heath; 185 pp. Lewisburg, Pennsylvania: Bucknell University Press for the Bucknell Review, 1982, $15.00. Literature, Arts, and Religion reminds us that the trouble with interdisciplinary criticism is that so little of it is interdisciplinary. That Hopkins was a priest as 234Philosophy and Literature well as a poet does not make all comment on his poetry interdisciplinary, nor is poesis invariably ut pictura. What makes criticism interdisciplinary is not its subjects but its methods, which must be, like Othello's revenge, capable and wide. Without such methodology, however, so-called interdisciplinary criticism remains what too often it has been since Horace's day: a jumble of analogy, comparison, and airy speculation. Literature, Arts, and Religion is divided into two unequal parts. "Literature and Religion" is the larger, containing eight essays. Three deal with fiction: "Journal d'un curĂ© de campagne" by Lorraine Liscio; "Hogpens and Hallelujahs" by Lucinda H. MacKethan; and "Graham Greene's Pursuit of God" by Gweneth Schwab. Three discuss drama: "'Unvalued Jewels'" by Clifford Chalmers Huffman; "The Forms of Christian Tragedy" by R. B. Gill; and "Bacchanalia and FĂȘte Panique" by Nicole Dufresne. Two focus on poetry: "Symbolism and Modernist Poetry" by Jon Rosenblatt and "Reading Hopkins" by Jerome Bump. Despite equal billing, the second section, "The Arts and Religion," remains an afterthought . It contains but two essays, "Liszt'sJourney through Dante's Hereafter" by Jean-Pierre Barricelli and "Toward a Theology of Ballet" by Mildred L. CuIp. Of the ten papers, perhaps four are genuinely interdisciplinary. Two of these are prolegomena. Gill raises the "perennially interesting" question whether Christian tragedy is possible. Taking a structural approach, he demonstrates how it is "in basic ways of understanding human fate that Christianity and tragedy reveal their similarities" (p. 74). Culp's is also a prolegomenon, but without a coherent theology her effort to link God's grace with the dancers never gets off the ground. Barricelli's essay succeeds in large part because its claims are so small: "The Symphony represents the best example of a true musico-literary interrelationship, the kind that lends...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 233-235
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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