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HUMANITIES 423 holistic theory of language and knowledge expounded by Hopkins's Oxford tutor, T.H. Green, in his treatise on Hume also influences Hopkins's habit of introducing into his poems a parataxis of impressions, grammatically unsubordinated, whose meaning must be grasped instantaneously and as a whole. I wonder, too, to what extent Hopkins was aware of Dugald Stewart's distinction between languages which are tied down to what he calls'analogous' structures and languages that allow for 'transpositive' construction. Like Mill and the earlyWittgenstein), Stewart assumes in his Elements ofthePhilosophyoftheHuman Mind that the English language 'pictures' facts in the real world. Because the sentence structure of English is 'analogous,' it can better reflect facts and more accurately picture thoughts than a highly reflected language like Latin. But poets like Hopkins want to 'transpose' their syntax. They want to write English as if it were Latin or Greek, because more fluid syntax allows them to develop the parallelisms and the other devices of equivalence such as apposition and alliteration which Hopkins in his early essay on 'Poetic Diction' finds intrinsically poetical. Milroy'S essay is constantly supplying a linguistic supplement to the philosophic analysis of Hopkins that Kuhn provides. Conversely, Kuhn often suggests epistemological reasons for the linguistic failures Milroy cites in a poem like 'The Brothers.' A collection of conference papers)' like the volume under review, is often both a rewarding and a frustrating genre to read. Itmayoffercriticaland scholarlydiversity, butsometimesat the sacrifice ofa consistent thesis aboutits subject. One advantage of Vital Candle is that a reader may suddenly find the supplementary proof and method that he sought in one essay happily supplied in a second or third essay, often where he least expected to find it. (w. DAVID SHAW) Norman Page. A Kipling Companion Collier Macmillan. xvii, 200, illus. $36.25 'Kipling is one of those writers of verse ... and prose who is virtually ignored by the academic establishment of teachers and critics but who none the less enjoys a continuing popularfame and a recognized status as a living classic (nearly everyone who reads at all has read some Kipling).' Professor Page's comment offers another way of describing a writer who simply will not go away, as readers of the stature of T.S. Eliot, Edmund Wilson, and George Orwell have all attested. If Woody Allen is correct, and ninety per cent of life consists in just showing up, then Kipling's immortality is assured. Of course, such relatively recent studies as J.M.S. Tomkins's The Art of Rudyard Kipling (1959), J.I.M. Stewart's chapter on him in Eight Modern Writers (1963), and Elliot 1. Gilbert's The Good Kipling (1972) indicate the richness of an oeuvre that can endure the painstaking 424 LETTERS IN CANADA 1984 examination to which such critics subject it. Yet, as the Critical Heritage volume of 1971 demonstrates, few authors of so considerable a stature have been the subjects of such controversy. Even if members of Page's I academic establishmentofteachers andcritics' admitto an admirationfor Kipling's work, they know that many of those who feel the same way are those whose approval smothers. Well, as the wisest of Marxists put it, I wouldn't want to belong to the sort of club that would have me as a member. As a writer ofa handbook or companion must, Page takes as a given the enduring nature of his subject's work. His aim is to supply a wealth of background detail that will suggest further pathways to interested readers. He has succeeded admirably. Details about Kipling's life, publication (and the complicated bibliographical aspect of this), and criticism of his works appear in painless and clear fashion. Thus short stories and poems are duly noted with a briefsummaryboth ofthe facts of their publication and the critical response over the decades. The list of figures important in Kipling's life is useful as well, if only to demonstrate how few ofthem couldbe termed aesthetic orintellectualintheir pursuits. A brief section on Freemasonry (so important not only in individual stories but in the world-view behind most of his writing) and a Filmography prove also of considerable interest. In addition, the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 423-424
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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