Hopkins’s Homer : a scholarly edition of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s Dublin Notes on the Iliad.


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In a letter to his mother (13 January 1886), Gerard Manley Hopkins mentioned that he was “taking notes for one [a book] on Homer’s art.”(CW II 757). These notes on the Iliad, made while Hopkins was living in Dublin, on sixty-five pages of folded sheets of paper, are housed at Campion Hall, Oxford. In the Campion Hall manuscript, Hopkins makes this final statement: “After this I am going to make my notes mainly on my interleaved book. Feb. 12 ’86.” Those additional fifteen pages, interleaved into his copy of Homeri Ilias (1883), are housed at the Foley Library, Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington. Taken together, the two sets of notes, consisting of 514 items and pertaining to fifty-seven pages in his edition of the Iliad, were written between November 1884 and ca. February 1886. A transcription of Hopkins’s notes, those housed at Campion Hall, and those housed at Gonzaga University, and a commentary on those notes comprises the bulk of the dissertation. These Dublin Notes on the Iliad, written by Hopkins during one of the darkest times of his life, when he was estranged from his country, his family, and his beloved Wales, provide a unique insight into the way he regarded the art of Homer’s poetry—the way Homer ordered the words, phrases, and lines that contributed to that poetry; the way that “stock” epithets were not stock at all, but expressed nuanced characteristics of the things and people they modified; the value Homer placed on the inscape of words, fitting each word into its place in the lines of dactylic hexameter—and the way Hopkins reflected his study of Homer in his own poetry, particularly the poetry he wrote and revised while living in Ireland.



Gerard Manley Hopkins. Dublin Notes. Iliad. Scholarly edition. Hyperbaton. Epithets.