Love is often called a leap of faith. But can faith be described as a leap of love? In 'Touching God: Hopkins and Love', Duc Dau argues that the conversion of Gerard Manley Hopkins to Roman Catholicism was one of his most romantic acts. 'Touching God' is the first book devoted to love in the writings of Hopkins, illuminating our understanding of him as a romantic poet. Discussions of desire in Hopkins' poetry have focused on his tortured and unrequited attraction to men. In contrast, Dau builds on existing queer and conventional readings of the poet's work by turning to theories of mutual touch propounded by Luce Irigaray and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. In the process, she uncovers the desire Hopkins actively cultivated and celebrated: his love for Christ. By analysing Hopkins' writings alongside his literary, philosophical and theological influences, she demonstrates that this love is what he called 'eros' or 'amor'. Dau argues that descriptions of the body and its acts of tenderness - notably touching - played a vital role in the poet's depictions of spiritual eroticism. By forging a new way of reading desire and the body in Hopkins' writings, this work offers fresh interpretations of his poetry, and contributes to contemporary interest surrounding the relationship between love, sexuality and spirituality. Readership: This volume will be of interest to students and scholars of Victorian poetry and the relationship between literature and religion, as well as to those interested in Hopkins, the body, sexuality, concepts of the other and the emotions.
'Duc Dau, to my mind, applies literary theory to Hopkins more originally, and ultimately far more helpfully, than does Derrida.' -'Victorian Poetry 'Drawing on Hopkins's undergraduate essays, Dau balances teleological philosophy, the relationship between form and substance and representations of beauty and virtue in order to make a strong case for the value that Hopkins places on the body, particularly the perfect body of Christ.' -'Year's Work in English Studies'
Series: Anthem Nineteenth-Century Series
Number Of Pages: 160
Published: 1st May 2012
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.2
Weight (kg): 0.408