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Title: Gerard Manley Hopkins and the pattern of language : a consideration of his writings in the light of some modern formalist and structuralist theories of language and poetry
Author: Hinchliffe, Keith Phillip
ISNI:       0000 0001 3578 7817
Awarding Body: University of Hull
Current Institution: University of Hull
Date of Award: 1981
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Hopkins's work is better comprehensible as a unity if considered as anticipating Structuralist views of language and associated attitudes to poetic structure. Hopkins's investigations of "inscape" emphasize systemic, organization and the ontological priority of patterns of relationship over individual phenomena. His writings on language reveal a comparable inclination, inviting a special interpretation of his phrase "inscape of speech". Hopkins's attitude to poetic language centres on a notion of poetry as "metalingual" activity, and is illuminated by reference to earlier and subsequent recurrences of the idea, particularly Formalist- Structuralist variations such as Jakobson's. This discussion clarifies general questions about the functions of poetic structure. Like some Formalists, Hopkins saw versification as creative "deformation" of language, parallelism in his verse working most typically to this end and also emphasizing the interrelated wholeness of the language-system. By this stage the notion in Hopkins's work of a "language of nature" seems more than a vague metaphor. In two particular late poems, Hopkins's "framing" of language becomes (in a specially defined sense) "iconic" of his world-view, the principle of this correspondence being the notion of a system whose components (words or things) only exist or have meaning in terms of the whole. Formalist notions of literary evolution help us better to appreciate consistency of development in Hopkins's own style,and the nature of his critical attitudes(especially to Victorian poetry). His concern was for the maintenance of creative tension between form and language. His own experiments, often counter-productive, led to an exemplary revitalization of the sonnet. Further implications of the relationship in Hopkins's thought between linguistic and natural organization may now be explored. His cosmology (particularly where it involves "inscape" and "instress") is clarified by further reference to Structuralism and to Gregory Bateson' "ecology of mind".
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: English