By John Parham
This publication, the 1st to contemplate Gerard Manley Hopkins as an ecological author, explores the measurement that social ecology deals to an ecocriticism hitherto ruled by way of romantic nature writing. The case for a 'green Hopkins' is made via a paradigm of 'Victorian Ecology' that expands the scope of latest stories in Victorian literature and technological know-how. Parham argues that Hopkins constructed a two-fold realizing of ecology - as a systematic philosophy developed round ecosystems conception; and as a corresponding thought of society organised round the sustainable use of strength - in addition to a corresponding poetic perform. In a thorough new studying of the poems, he means that Hopkins translated an cutting edge nature poetry, during which rhythm conveyed a nature characterized via dialectical power trade, right into a social 'ecopoetry' that embodied the environmental effect of Victorian 'risk' society on its human inhabitants. positioned inside a 'Victorian ecological mind's eye' that fused romanticism and pragmatism, the publication perspectives Hopkins' paintings as indicating the price of reconciling a deep ecological statement of the intrinsic price of (nonhuman) nature with social ecology's extra pragmatic makes an attempt to critique and re-conceptualise human lifestyles.
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Additional info for Green Man Hopkins: Poetry and the Victorian Ecological Imagination. (Nature, Culture and Literature)
For while Scigaj also works from Merleau-Ponty, he nevertheless offers a paradigm that broadly succeeds in attempting to reconcile phenomenological philosophy with social critique. Scigaj begins by establishing a theory he calls ‘référance’, designed, as its name suggests, as an alternative to Derrida’s ‘différance’ (broadly interpreted as the deconstruction of presence in language and the absence of the original referent) (1999: 35-8). Accepting that our conceptions of nature are culturally constructed to some extent, Scigaj states, nevertheless, that Merleau-Ponty identified a pre-reflective stage of cognition – prior to the intervention both of the egocentric ‘I’ and cultural convention.
200) Towards a Humanist Ecocriticism 37 While, then, we cannot return to nature, because we are always estranged from it, the language in which we dwell nevertheless “opens a space of intelligibility” that transcends “our manner of being” and in which we can, therefore, understand or articulate, for example, the intrinsic value of other species or our mutual dependence on them. In relation to the latter, Harrison makes it clear that this remains a dialectical relationship by recovering an original meaning in which “logos” refers not only to “language” but also to “relation”.
Highlighting three non-literary interests – art, architecture and science – central to the development of an intellectual framework it will be shown, in particular, that Hopkins’ interest in nature was informed by a contemporary science that was gradually shifting from more static models – natural history, botany – to an understanding of nature as an energy system characterised by movement and flux. In this light, Hopkins’ journal will be examined as a post-Romantic attempt at constructing an ecological economy of nature founded not on place but on theories, concepts, and epistemologies formed largely in his undergraduate essays.