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Beschreibung des Verlags

While there was much interesting and varied criticism on Hopkins during 2009, the only published scholarly monograph on him was Brian Willems' Hopkins and Heidegger (Continuum). One wishes the book's singularity in that regard was matched by its critical perspicacity, but this reviewer was disappointed. The author proposes that major interconnections exist between Hopkins' inscape and instress and Heidegger's appropriation, mediated in the author by anxiety, both his and the poet's. While connections between poet and philosopher offer fruitful prospects, the execution of the task here seems dated and one-sided: dated because the intertextual approach and the dense language are redolent of a couple of decades ago, one-sided because the author may know a great deal about Heidegger but appears to have a very limited understanding of Hopkins' life, poetry, and the scholarly criticism about him. As an example of the datedness of the approach, consider this passage from an attempt by the author to assess the sonnet "Carrion Comfort": "[Writing] is one way of holding, and not abandoning, the hermeneutic circle. By this I mean that the gathering of the fourfold as a means of poetics includes the negation of the hermeneutic circle as a way of holding it, or of holding the elements of the fourfold in the openness of being. Such a holding can be seen in the gesture of writing, of writing as a presencing of the errors of being" (p. 87). That kind of opaque language, which asks literary criticism to masquerade as philosophy, went out of fashion several years ago, for good and ample reason, but it resurfaces here all too often.

Gewerbe und Technik
22. September
West Virginia University Press, University of West Virginia

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