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Darwinism, Doxology, and Energy Physics: The New Sciences, the Poetry and the Poetics of Gerard Manley Hopkins

Darwinism, Doxology, and Energy Physics: The New Sciences, the Poetry and the Poetics of Gerard... MARIE BANFIELD In our day grand generalisations have been reached. The theory of the origin of species is but one of them. Another, of still wider grasp and more radical significance, is the doctrine of the Conservation of Energy.1 he scientific revolution of the mid nineteenth century in its double aspect provided a matrix for the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins which nurtured his development as a poet responding to nature and as a religious poet. The scientific context of Hopkins' work, firmly established by Gillian Beer, Daniel Brown, Jude V. Nixon, and Tom Zaniello, makes manifest the challenge and the opportunities offered to the poet by the new sciences. In a recent article for Victorian Poetry, Nixon has stressed the significance for Hopkins' poetry of energy tropes drawn from thermodynamics: the anxiety as well as the attraction that the new physical science created for the poet. The tropes are described as admitting a dialogue between the domains of science and literature, across the vast distances which contiguity does not allow.2 The dialogue between literature and science in Hopkins' writing forms a broad debate that crosses cultural as well as temporal barriers, creating new syntheses and paradoxes as http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Victorian Poetry West Virginia University Press

Darwinism, Doxology, and Energy Physics: The New Sciences, the Poetry and the Poetics of Gerard Manley Hopkins

Victorian Poetry , Volume 45 (2) – Jul 23, 2007

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Publisher
West Virginia University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 West Virginia University. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1530-7190
Publisher site
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Abstract

MARIE BANFIELD In our day grand generalisations have been reached. The theory of the origin of species is but one of them. Another, of still wider grasp and more radical significance, is the doctrine of the Conservation of Energy.1 he scientific revolution of the mid nineteenth century in its double aspect provided a matrix for the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins which nurtured his development as a poet responding to nature and as a religious poet. The scientific context of Hopkins' work, firmly established by Gillian Beer, Daniel Brown, Jude V. Nixon, and Tom Zaniello, makes manifest the challenge and the opportunities offered to the poet by the new sciences. In a recent article for Victorian Poetry, Nixon has stressed the significance for Hopkins' poetry of energy tropes drawn from thermodynamics: the anxiety as well as the attraction that the new physical science created for the poet. The tropes are described as admitting a dialogue between the domains of science and literature, across the vast distances which contiguity does not allow.2 The dialogue between literature and science in Hopkins' writing forms a broad debate that crosses cultural as well as temporal barriers, creating new syntheses and paradoxes as

Journal

Victorian PoetryWest Virginia University Press

Published: Jul 23, 2007

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