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HUMANITIES 11} others, that 'his particular debt to Hopkins was ... less evident in his poetry than in his teaching: Poets cannot be expected to be both detached and self-conscious in their comments on another poet, and it is for this reason that category (ti) tends to be part of category (iii), evasion and escape. The maturing of those poets who grew up with Hopkins is described in terms of the poets' deliberate absorption or rejection of his influence. One phrase, 'the anxiety of influence: is tediously repeated, but Bloom's theory is never adequately engaged. This is particularly regrettable in view of the anachronism that conditioned Hopkins's influence. At least half of the poets selected for the purposes of this volume had achieved their poetic maturity either before 19}0 or before becoming acquainted with Hopkins. By Yeats, Pound, Eliot, Williams, and others of the generation of Modernism Hopkins was perceived not as part of the 'burden of .the past' but as a threat from the flank - and one, moreover, set to confound the periodization of literary history on which so much of the politics of Modernism depended. All the above-named Modernists were grudging in their recognition of Hopkins. Two of the very greatest poets of the twentieth century, however, were not ashamed to own their admiration, and the essays here on Hugh MacDiarmid and David Jones are among the most rewarding. The centrality of Hopkins becomes even more incontestable as these two - whose poetry is not at all 'Hopkinsian' - are gradually drawn in from the Celtic margins. Other notable essays include Norman MacKenzie's on Yeats, which makes use of Yeats's letters to Monk Gibbon now at Queen's UniverSity, and Ronald Bush's attempt to explain Eliot's peevish antipathy. It is in single essays, isolated facts and observations, that the value of this volume will be found. Contrary to the editor's expectation, this book will not, I think, 'surprise many people: The absence, the suppression of the evidence of Hopkins in twentieth-century poetry must itself be the evidence of his importance. Such an influence is not to be measured in terms of individualallegiance; it is in the very texture ofmodem poetry, in its linguistic devices and capabilities, that Hopkins is to be heard and felt. Odd, ifconscientious, that the International Hopkins Association should sponsor a lone challenge to the obvious. (CHARLES LOCK) Virginia Woolf. The Complete Shorter Fiction ofVirginia Woolf. Editedby Susan Dick Hogarth Press. 3'4. $29ยท95, $24.50 paper Itseems remarkable that there are any previously unpublished writings of Virginia Woolf, yet, of the forty-six works collected in this volume, seventeen that are clearly of critical interest have not been printed before. The remainder have, until now, been inconveniently scattered among various magazines, scholarly journals, and volumes of short stories and essays. The publication history of Virginia Woolf's shorter fiction is complex because most of these works did not reach the final stage of her arduous process ofrevision. Although this circumstance requires that the reader make aesthetic allowances, there are reasons to be grateful for it: as the editors of the drafts of Virginia Woolf's novels have discovered, her unrevised writings are often explicit where the published versions are obscure. This is particularly true of her short stories, which, Susan Dick notes, were often the testing ground for her longer works. In this collection we find satire more acidic, prejudices less disguised, and theories more baldly stated than anywhere else in Virginia Woolfs art. Dick observes that many ofVirginia Woolfs technical innovations were conceived in her shorter fiction: in Monday or Tuesday, the only collection of stories published in her lifetime, Virginia Woolf discovered the methods which enabled her to proceed from Night and Day to Jacob's Room. Despite their experimental function, some of the stories in this volume are surprisingly conventional. Perhaps this is because they end with a sudden reversal of expectations: while the axes upon which these turnabouts occur are suggestive (confrontations between life and art or illusion and reality), the effect is hackneyed. Yet, even if one is led to conclude that Virginia Woolfs talents are not shown to advantage...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 113-115
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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