Green Man Hopkins.
Poetry and the Victorian Ecological Imagination.
Amsterdam/New York, NY, 2010, 308 pp.
Nature, Culture and Literature 6
This book, the first to consider Gerard Manley Hopkins as an ecological writer, explores the dimension that social ecology offers to an ecocriticism hitherto dominated by romantic nature writing.
The case for a ‘green Hopkins’ is made through a paradigm of ‘Victorian Ecology’ that expands the scope of existing studies in Victorian literature and science. Parham argues that Hopkins developed a two-fold understanding of ecology – as a scientific philosophy constructed around ecosystems theory; and as a corresponding theory of society organised around the sustainable use of energy – as well as a corresponding poetic practice. In a radical new reading of the poems, he suggests that Hopkins translated an innovative nature poetry, in which rhythm conveyed a nature characterised by dialectical energy exchange, into a social ‘ecopoetry’ that embodied the environmental impact of Victorian ‘risk’ society on its human population.
Located within a ‘Victorian ecological imagination’ that fused romanticism and pragmatism, the book views Hopkins’ work as indicating the value of reconciling a deep ecological assertion of the intrinsic value of (nonhuman) nature with social ecology’s more pragmatic attempts to critique and re-conceptualise human life.
Muddying the Waters: Towards a Humanist Ecocriticism
Definitions: preservation, conservation, environmentalism, ecology
‘Deep’ versus ‘social’ ecology
Towards a social (and humanist) ecocriticism
Outline of the book
The Trajectory of a Victorian Ecology
Parameters of a Victorian ecology
The transition towards a Victorian ecology
Ways of Understanding Nature: Ecology in Hopkins’ Intellectual Formation
Hopkins as not a poet of place
Hopkins’ intellectual formation: three major influences
Beginnings of an ecological philosophy: undergraduate essays
The development of an ecological philosophy: journal writing
Inscape and instress
Duns Scotus and Hopkins’ ecological theology
Finding a Voice: The Development of a Sustainable Poetry
The search for a contemporary style of nature writing
The development of a poetic style
Formation of an ecopoetic
Hopkins in the Victorian World: From a Social to a Human Ecology
Hopkins as a Victorian ecological critic
Poems of ecological protest
Hopkins, the city, and social ecopoetry
Hopkins, the body, and environmental health
A humanist ecopoetic
Development of, and retraction from, an ecological social philosophy
Bewitched by the “Spell of the Sensuous”: A Disenchanted Ecological Imagination
The factors undermining an ecological philosophy