In 1879 Gerard Manley Hopkins returned to a very different Oxford than he remembered from his undergraduate years. The “rural keeping” that he delighted in had been replaced by the “graceless growth” of modern suburbs. Most troubling, he found that his “aspens dear” were “all felled,” leading to his heartbreaking repetition of the strokes in … More Sustainability in the Victorianist Classroom
There is so much overlap between literature and liturgy. Sometimes a liturgy will take central place in a novel, such as the baptism in Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles or the wedding at the end of any marriage plot. Many liturgies themselves are a collection of literary genres, ranging from myth to poetry to exhortation, blended with … More A Literary Kalendar
I think we tend to have a one-sided view of academic blogging. We tend to call it an “outreach” project, envisioning the process as research leading to communication with a broader audience. In many ways, this is great. And as someone who took time in between college and graduate studies, I feel a deep solidarity … More How My Blog Readers Helped Me Write an Article
With all the recent posts on Thomas Hardy and Gerard Manley Hopkins, you may be wondering if they could have ever met. Since Hardy lived from 1840 to 1928 and Hopkins lived from 1844 to 1889, there is quite a bit of overlap between their lives. So let’s play six degrees of Thomas Hardy and … More 6 Degrees of Thomas Hardy
It’s that time of year where we begin to transition. School is starting. The days are shorter. And, if you don’t live in the South like me, the weather is starting to cool down. We’ve also entered into harvest time. Lammas day began the month, bringing us the harvest. In the words of an Anglo-Saxon … More Thomas Hardy’s Harvest
You know the movement to make traditional bad guys good in children’s stories, or to at least give their side of the story. When I was a boisterous oddly serious public school lad, I remember a story that had recast the big bad wolf as a hapless neighbor who only wanted sugar from his selfish … More The Big Bad Wraecca
Why do we enjoy tragedies? Why is there something almost pleasant about an elegy. We watch King Lear, knowing that the moment will come when he carries Cordelia out. We watch Macbeth to hear “Out, out, brief candle!” I’ve noticed that I enjoy Old English poetry and the works of Thomas Hardy because they enter … More Why Do We Enjoy Suffering in Literature?