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HUMANITIES 111 Bible of Amiens and Aratra Pentelid. To fill out the volume, appendices provide material from what seems to be a less supercharged era in Wihl's critical career. Here he examines a little-known Victorian landscape painting by W.B. Scott in relation to Holman Hunt's Our English Coasts and Ruskin's discussion of the latter. Secondly, he examines Ruskin's critique of the Crystal Palace as neither palace nor of crystal. Indeed this last essay contains the germ of Wihl's approach in the body of his book. Ruskin revolts from the Crystal Palace because it is denuded of the associations, historical and cultural, which for him make up the definition of a palace. Further, its crystal is the antithesis of the values which he sees in the substance, in nature, and in relation to the human and to the divine. Yet in its negativity the 'crystal' in Crystal Palace completes the verbal, ethical, aesthetic, spiritual spectrum along which Ruskin's thought is playing. Wihl does very well to analyse this characteristic and basic mode of Ruskin's thinking and writing. However, in my view it is Wihl's 'true failure' (to use his own final comment on Ruskin [p 155]) to insist on the arbitrariness ofthis word-play. This play is not a compulsive outcome of Ruskin's personality nor a sign of his being caught up in a purely verbal realm, but it is part of his recognition and assertion of the meaningfulness of the world and of the interaction between the world, human culture, and language. His play with words such as 'crystal' is not arbitrary, but it is a way of declaring this whole order, in a manner which the conventionally accepted modes of his time and of ours fail to do. In doing this, Ruskin takes a daring risk (like that of his follower Ezra Pound). This risk merits our admiration. If a critical posture is taken up against it, it has to be taken from an underlying position of acute self-consciousness as to the nature and propriety of our own world-view. Here to me Wihl's apparent empiricism and verbalism are inadequate. His criticism is illuminating and provocative in detail; rather baffling and negative because its own prentises are obscure; and disappointing in its final assertion of lack of sympathy with Ruskin's important project. The book is fully and well illustrated. More of an emphasis on topics in the index would have been appreciated. (PETER F. MORGAN) Richard F. Giles, editor. Hopkins among the Poets: Studies in Modern Responses to Gerard Manley Hopkins International Hopkins Association Monograph Series 3. International Hopkins Association. 128. $10.00 paper It is generally assumed that the impact of Hopkins on twentieth-century poetry has been immense, even constitutive. This volume's editor, Richard F. Giles, undertook a project to put that assumption to test: he has gathered twenty-five essays ascertaining and specifying the extent of ' Hopkins's impact on twenty-five later poets. By 'impact' the editor intended his contributors to cover the following: (i) influence on poet's work; (ti) poet's own consciousness of and comment on that influence; and (iii) poet's attempt to escape from or avoid that influence. The procedure is somewhat arbitrary - lacking rigour in both method and application - and the yield is mixed. On the evidence presented by this volume, one could draw the conclusion - tempted or perhaps compelled by the editor's refusal to draw one - that among twentiethcentury poets there has been an immense amount of (iii) (avoidilflce and escape), a fair amount of (ii), and a severe paucity of (i). Direct influence tends to be visible or, better, audible, in the poetry of adolescents; the essays on Theodore Roethke, Thomas Merton, Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Jennings, and Seamus Heaney offer examples of early work, often uncollected. A gem is Roethke's 'Praise: printed here for the first time since its original appearance in the New Republic in 1939: A praise to the resilient: to bones in barred wings That hold hawks motionless in rushing air. ... The HopkinS-imitating adolescents that we know about are, of course, those who became poets; there...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 111-113
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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