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Geoffrey Hill's Later WorkRadiance of Apprehension$
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Alex Wylie

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781526124944

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526124951

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

‘There are no demons’: faith and metaphysical desire

‘There are no demons’: faith and metaphysical desire

(p.77) Chapter 4 ‘There are no demons’: faith and metaphysical desire
Geoffrey Hill's Later Work

Alex Wylie

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the relationship between belief and “metaphysical fantasy” as Hill conceives it in his later work. The chapter argues that such fantasy, or metaphysical desire as it is termed elsewhere in the book, is at the heart of Hill’s later conception of poetic energy and human values at large – and, fundamentally, that such a conception is a tortured and tortuous one. The influence of Gerard Manley Hopkins on the later work is discussed, and there is a further examination of Hill’s sense of the human will, this time in relation to the fall, drawing on such Christian thinkers as St Augustine, Martin Luther and Karl Barth. The chapter concludes with a consideration of Hill’s sense that reality is “like fiction”, and that the religious sense of his later work is fired by this difficult conclusion – difficult particularly for someone who rejects postmodern relativism.

Keywords:   Gerard Manley Hopkins, St Augustine, Karl Barth, St Paul, Will, The Fall, Alchemy, Mataphor

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