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The Split World of Gerard Manley Hopkins: An Essay in Semiotic Phenomenology (review)

The Split World of Gerard Manley Hopkins: An Essay in Semiotic Phenomenology (review) 254 / VICTORIAN POETRY Dennis Sobolev, The Split World of Gerard Manley Hopkins: An Essay in Semiotic Phenomenology (Catholic Univ. of America Press, 2011). 368 pp. $69.95. Dennis Sobolev's new book is the most ambitious scholarly work on the poet to appear in several years. While his publisher's triumphalist claims ("For the first time in almost half a century, the world of Hopkins is examined as an indivisible whole") cannot be allowed, The Split World of Gerard Manley Hopkins nevertheless represents a major undertaking and deserves serious analysis. The "split world" of the title reflects what Sobolev identifies as the central tension in all of Hopkins's writings: on the one hand a commitment to the perceived truths of the material world, and on the other hand an equally strong commitment to a religiously defined supernatural world whose truths often conflicted with the sometimes-harsh realities forced on him by what he would have called "nature." That tension Sobolev summarizes in this key passage: "Hopkins's poems combine the most orthodox doxological statements with apparent heterodoxy, rationalism with mysticism, complex religious philosophy with metaphysical indeterminacy, divine immanence with `the disappearance of God,' the self-projection of meditation with the self-effacement of contemplation, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Victorian Poetry West Virginia University Press

The Split World of Gerard Manley Hopkins: An Essay in Semiotic Phenomenology (review)

Victorian Poetry , Volume 50 (2) – Jun 10, 2012

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Publisher
West Virginia University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 West Virginia University.
ISSN
1530-7190
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Abstract

254 / VICTORIAN POETRY Dennis Sobolev, The Split World of Gerard Manley Hopkins: An Essay in Semiotic Phenomenology (Catholic Univ. of America Press, 2011). 368 pp. $69.95. Dennis Sobolev's new book is the most ambitious scholarly work on the poet to appear in several years. While his publisher's triumphalist claims ("For the first time in almost half a century, the world of Hopkins is examined as an indivisible whole") cannot be allowed, The Split World of Gerard Manley Hopkins nevertheless represents a major undertaking and deserves serious analysis. The "split world" of the title reflects what Sobolev identifies as the central tension in all of Hopkins's writings: on the one hand a commitment to the perceived truths of the material world, and on the other hand an equally strong commitment to a religiously defined supernatural world whose truths often conflicted with the sometimes-harsh realities forced on him by what he would have called "nature." That tension Sobolev summarizes in this key passage: "Hopkins's poems combine the most orthodox doxological statements with apparent heterodoxy, rationalism with mysticism, complex religious philosophy with metaphysical indeterminacy, divine immanence with `the disappearance of God,' the self-projection of meditation with the self-effacement of contemplation,

Journal

Victorian PoetryWest Virginia University Press

Published: Jun 10, 2012

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