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Collected Critical Writings

Collected Critical Writings [Kindle Edition]

Geoffrey Hill , Kenneth Haynes
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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their incisiveness, moral passions and originality constitute a formidable lesson. They are a constant counterpoint to the genius of the poet. George Steiner, Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year the strongest pieces, especially from his first volume of essays, The Lords of Limit, yield nothing to Trilling in moral seriousness or to Auden in verbal scrupulousness. Stefan Collini, Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year

Product Description

The Collected Critical Writings gathers more than forty years of Hill's published criticism, in a revised final form, and also adds much new work. It will serve as the canonical volume of criticism by Hill, the pre-eminent poet-critic whom A. N. Wilson has called "probably the best writer alive, in verse or in prose." In his criticism Hill ranges widely, investigating both poets (including Jonson, Dryden, Hopkins, Whitman, Eliot, and Yeats ) and prose writers (such as Tyndale, Clarendon, Hobbes, Burton, Emerson, and F. H. Bradley). He is also steeped in the historical context - political, poetic, and religious - of the writers he studies. Most importantly, he brings texts and contexts into new and telling relations, neither reducing texts to the circumstances of their utterance nor imagining that they can float free of them. A number of the essays have already established themselves as essential reading on particular subjects, such as his analysis of Vaughan's "The Night", his discussion of Gurney's poetry, and his critical account of The Oxford English Dictionary. Others confront the problems of language and the nature of value directly, as in "Our Word is Our Bond", "Language, Suffering, and Value", and "Poetry and Value". In all his criticism, Hill reveals literature to be an essential arena of civic intelligence.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 7124 KB
  • Print Length: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (29 May 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #354,918 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book 21 May 2009
I have read and reread these essays over I suppose two years. Hill, I now believe, is up there with Johnson, Coleridge and Eliot. This book represents one of the best and most important bodies of critical writing and certainly of poet-criticism in the language. It has great intrinsic value and it will last.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 8 Sep 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Complex but Decent Respect for Language 19 July 2008
By Michael Greenebaum - Published on
Students of Hill should know that there is much in this "Collected" that does not appear in his previously published volumes. It is dense and tough going (and has the virtue of making Hill's great poetry appear pellucid). However, the rewards are great if one reads the prose in the same way one would read the poetry -- pausing after the difficult sentences, struggling with the references, working through the knots. I find the newer, previously unpublished work more congenial than the earlier essays. Just as Hill seems to have discovered a new kind of fluency in his poetry in the '90s, so too his prose seems more reader-friendly. Hill stands to the second half of the 20th century as Yeats stands to the first; they are the poet-theorists one returns to. In both cases, it is the poetry that is truly imperishable, but it is the prose that provides a glimpse into the workshop whence the poetry emanates.
2.0 out of 5 stars dull, boring 7 Sep 2014
By Fred C. Dobbs - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Pedantic, dull, boring,arrogant, condescending, written to impress other academics, those strangely deformed souls.
4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Alienated Majesty" 21 Jun 2010
By Hannah M. Vanderhart - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
is a phrase from Thoreau which Hill considers as a springboard in the final group of essays in this volume (essays addressing poetics of Emerson, Hopkins, Eliot, and Whitman, among others).

While I'm thrilled to have Hill's essays all in one place as reference, I admit, they are weary going. I certainly agree with the first reviewer: the terse, compressed language of these essays makes Hill's poetry appear in its true form: seriously beautiful poetry. Modern readers who complain over the difficulty of Hill's poetry need not bother with this volume, in this collection, Hill is intertextual on a very serious level with English history, prose, and poetry; the weight of Hill's intellectual background and a lifetime of academia have a heavy hand to play in the text, as should be expected.

If you want insight into Hill's intellectual process without reading his critical writings, it can be done. I recommend Eliot's selected essays (a volume Hill has owned since his youth), Hopkins' poetry (but especially his journals and letters), and of course get you to some Milton (especially his political sonnets & prose tracts, and his "masque" or play "Comus").

Good luck.
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