The nineteenth century English Jesuit poet, GerardManleyHopkins struggled throughout his life with desolation over what he saw as a spiritually, intellectually and artistically unproductive life. During these periods, he experienced God’s absence in a particularly intense way. As he wrote in one sonnet, “my lament / Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent / To dearest him that lives alas! away.” What Hopkins faced was the existential problem of suffering and hiddenness, a problem (...) widely recognized by analytic philosophers to be left relatively untouched by conceptual explanations. In this essay, I argue that Hopkins’ poems themselves fill this gap left by conceptual approaches by articulating the existential crisis faced by those who feel the searing pain of suffering and the numbing, leaden echo of silence. His lyric speaks into existential suffering in ways akin to biblical laments and, as such, creates a space in which those who suffer can meet God, even if only to contend. Understood within Hopkins’ view of the incarnation and passion, these poems also suggest a way to identify with Christ in the experience of hiddenness, thereby making God present even in divine absence. (shrink)
The poetic joy voiced in this book's title reflects the hope in God of a poet who sacrificed his art not long after his conversion, but then received back the use of his native talents with even deeper inspiration. As a young Jesuit, GerardManleyHopkins offered up the use of his creative abilities in frustrating silence as part of his quest to make a complete donation of himself to God. Only years later did a well-attuned alertness (...) to the stirrings of divine grace propel him to poetry once more, but now a poetry chastened of his early infatuation with Victorian sensibilities and enlivened by a consciously Medieval approach to reading the signs of God's presence everywhere. (shrink)
Simone Weil's ideas on affliction and sacrifice has been interpreted by some as though they are the product of psychological problems. I will approach her writings on necessity and affliction through G. M. Hopkins' little prose masterpiece. Later I will suggest that she may be profitably related to some French spiritual writers in the 17th Century, who develop a link between the necessity of offering sacrifice to God and the radical contingency of created existence.
The first of eight volumes of Hopkins's Collected Works to be published, Oxford Essays and Notes presents a remarkable cache of previously unpublished papers, including forty-five essays which Hopkins produced during his undergraduate career at Oxford, only seven of which were reproduced in the 1959 edition of Journals and Papers. Topics range from Platonic philosophy to theories of the imagination, from ancient history to then-contemporary politics and voting rights. Also included are notes from a commonplace book, a remarkable (...) 'dialogue' about aesthetics, and the lecture notes Hopkins prepared in the winter of 1868 while teaching at John Henry Newman's Oratory School in Birmingham-writings in which he explores, for the first time, the theories of inscape and instress so central to his poetic practice. The edition is fully annotated and provides a detailed introduction that situates historically Hopkins's academic and creative efforts.The twelve notebooks represent Hopkins's intellectual and aesthetic development while studying with some of the greatest scholars of the era, as well as the ethical and spiritual anxieties he wrestled with while deciding to convert to Catholicism. Hopkins never wrote to please his tutors or the university professors-he wrote vividly and searchingly in response to the challenges they presented. Whether evaluating Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, the role of 'neutral' England in the American civil war, or the comparative merits of classical sculpture, his first instinct was always to frame the difficult questions involved and work towards a 'counter' argument. (shrink)
An analysis of two major religiously inspired writers from a Kierkegaardian perspective. _Writing the Incommensurable_ studies how the threat posed by the absence of an immanent God is explored in the works of Søren Kierkegaard, Christina Rossetti, and GerardManleyHopkins. Mary Finn erects a theoretical framework in each chapter based on a pseudonymous work of Kierkegaard. In these pseudonymous works, Kierkegaard uses the discourses of philosophy, theology, and literature to plot the complicated path of a religious (...) writer whose own impulse to write complicates—if it does not compromise—the religious vision she or he wants to communicate. The book is organized according to four Kierkegaardian categories: anxiety, lyric voice, repetition, and radical choice. All four are responses to what Kierkegaard calls the incommensurable, the unnegotiable gap between subjectivity on the one hand and "actuality" on the other. This gap plagues the writer-believer while also enabling writing. In what dilemma, then, does a religious poet find herself or himself when out of the depths of personal doubt, lack of understanding, and religious inadequacy comes a literary success? Or is this dilemma avoided by paradoxically refiguring failure as a measure of success, and if so, can such a refiguring ever be fully trusted? As the notion of the subjective "self" acquires preeminence in the nineteenth century, the particularized "writing self" is the entity Kierkegaard, Hopkins, and Rossetti fight to get beyond as religious believers. The futility of such an attempt nonetheless results in a peculiar success: there is the writing itself, material evidence that the fight occurred, imbued with the pathos and beauty of all monuments erected to lost causes. (shrink)
ome Remarks on the Crisis of Capitalism What are the causes and consequences of the crisis of capitalism ? What are the plausible scenarios forthe outcome of the crisis ? To what extent is the current crisis comparable to that of 1929, and to whatextent does it differ from the crisis of the 1970s ? To what extent can one speak of a crisis of neoliberalism ? These are some of the questions which the authors of The Crisis of Neoliberalism (...) address here. (shrink)
Hopkins' Idealism provides a thorough re-examination of the nineteenth-century poet GerardManleyHopkins (1844-1889), whose early writings on philosophy have to date received little critical attention. It is the first full-length study of Hopkins' largely unpublished Oxford undergraduate essays and notes on philosophy and mechanics. The volume also offers radical new readings of some of Hopkins' best-known poems.