By Geoffrey Hill
Publish yr note: First released in 2008
The gathered severe Writings gathers greater than 40 years of Hill's released feedback, in a revised ultimate shape, and likewise provides a lot new paintings. it is going to function the canonical quantity of feedback by way of Hill, the pre-eminent poet-critic whom A. N. Wilson has known as "probably the simplest author alive, in verse or in prose."
In his feedback Hill levels broadly, investigating either poets (including Jonson, Dryden, Hopkins, Whitman, Eliot, and Yeats ) and prose writers (such as Tyndale, Clarendon, Hobbes, Burton, Emerson, and F. H. Bradley). he's additionally steeped within the ancient context - political, poetic, and spiritual - of the writers he stories. most significantly, he brings texts and contexts into new and telling relatives, neither lowering texts to the situations in their utterance nor imagining that they could go with the flow freed from them.
A variety of the essays have already confirmed themselves as crucial interpreting on specific topics, corresponding to his research of Vaughan's "The Night," his dialogue of Gurney's poetry, and his severe account of The Oxford English Dictionary. Others confront the issues of language and the character of price without delay, as in "Our notice is Our Bond," "Language, pain, and Value," and "Poetry and Value." In all his feedback, Hill unearths literature to be an important area of civic intelligence.
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Additional info for Collected Critical Writings: Geoffrey Hill
In confronting the strategy of the Proclamation Southwell undertook a double defence. Edmund Campion, in his great ‘Challenge’ of 1580, had appealed for ‘fair light’, ‘good method’, and ‘plain dealing’ to be ‘cast upon these controversies, that possibly her zeal of truth and love of her people shall incline her noble Grace to disfavour some proceedings hurtful to the Realm, and procure towards us oppressed more equitie’. The Proclamation lards its threats and viliWcations with well-timed cynical gestures of mock reasonableness and tolerance, appealing in the name of all that is ‘naturall’ and ‘honorable’ against that which is ‘wilfull’ and ‘monstrous’, ‘the slanderous speeches and Libelles of the Fugitiues abroade’.
It is not unreasonable to suppose, however, that Lapide’s seventeenth-century Commentaries drew upon the kind of biblical exegesis prevalent in Jesuit circles in the closing years of the previous century. Lapide’s interpretation states that ‘for the Kingdom of Heaven’s sake worldly men do violence to themselves by the cultivation of repentance, poverty, continence, mortiWcation’. He further interprets ‘violence’ as the heroism necessary to endure the suVerings of martyrdom: ‘Thus let each believer consider that with his utmost energy he must struggle up to Heaven by means of a ladder hedged about with knives’.
Let vs but consider, the last tragicall pageant of [Christ’s] Passion, wherein he wone vs, and lost him selfe. And marke the excessiue loue shewed therin’, he wrote in An Epistle of Comfort. ‘Excess’, ‘excessive’, ‘de excessu’, ‘Passion’, ‘passion’, ‘violence’, ‘equitie’: these are all cruces, the little crosses upon which the passion of his reasonableness is enacted for us. We have it on the authority of Christopher Devlin that ‘the Jesuit discipline, in the design of St Ignatius, sets up an interior tension which can only be resolved by cruciWxion.