Autumn 1944 • Vol. VI No. 4 The Hopkins Centennial (Concluded)October 1, 1944 |

Victorian Hopkins

The emphasis on the oddness and modernness of Hopkins' poetry has diminished considerably of late. This shift began, perhaps, with Mr. Abbott's Introductions to the Letters; it is marked in most of the contributors to the Kenyon Review's symposium, especially in Mr. Warren's very penetrating essay. This is certainly an important gain toward a just evaluation of Hopkins, for much of the oddness of his poetry, as he so often suggested himself, is a surface phenomenon, not unimportant, but not more fundamental than the individual tone which is recognizable in any poet, in Tennyson and Wordsworth quite as much as in Browning and Whitman, to whom Hopkins, though not on this ground, more than once compared himself ("As he is a very great scoundrel this is not a pleasant confession"). Apart from his Catholic ideas (I do not mean to belittle their importance for I think it very great; but there is nothing eccentric in thinking like a Catholic) and the intellectual precision he acquired

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Literary critic, Arthur Mizener (1907-1988) was Mellon Foundation Professor of English at Cornell University from 1951 to 1975. In addition to other works, he authored the first biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Far Side of Paradise (1951) along with a biography of Ford Madox Ford, The Saddest Story: A Biography of Ford Madox Ford (1971).

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