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Geoffrey Hill and his Contexts


Edited By Piers Pennington and Matthew Sperling

Geoffrey Hill is one of the most significant poets currently at work in the English language. The essays gathered in this book present a number of new contexts in which to explore a wide range of his writings, from the poems he wrote as an undergraduate to the recent volumes A Treatise of Civil Power (2007) and Collected Critical Writings (2008). Connections are made between the early and the later poetry, and between the poetry and the criticism, and archival materials are considered along with the published texts. The essays also make comparisons across disciplines, discussing Hill’s work in relation to theology, philosophy and intellectual history, to literature from other languages, and to the other arts. In doing so, they cast fresh light upon Hill’s dense, original and sometimes challenging writings, opening them up in new ways for all readers of his work.


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Acknowledgements vii Abbreviations ix Introduction 1 Steven Matthews Hill’s Uncollected Oxford Poems 5 Piers Pennington The Manuscripts and Composition of ‘Genesis’ 25 Charles Lock Beside the Point: A Diligence of Accidentals 43 Kathryn Murphy Hill’s Conversions 61 Michael Molan Milton and Eliot in the Work of Geof frey Hill 81 Matthew Sperling Hill and Nineteenth-Century Linguistic Thought 107 Marcus Waithe Hill, Ruskin, and Intrinsic Value 133 vi Sheridan Burnside The ‘Tenebrae’ Poems of Paul Celan and Geof frey Hill 151 Matthew Paskins Hill and Gillian Rose 171 Hugh Haughton ‘Music’s Invocation’: Music and History in Geof frey Hill 187 Kenneth Haynes ‘Perplexed Persistence’: The Criticism of Geof frey Hill 213 Geof frey Hill from Odi Barbare, XXI–XXIII 227 Afterword 231 Bibliography 235 Notes on Contributors 247 Index 251

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