By Michael Thorpe
The severe history gathers jointly a wide physique of severe assets on significant figures in literature. each one quantity offers modern responses to a writer's paintings, allowing scholars and researchers to learn the fabric themselves.
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Extra resources for Arthur Hugh Clough: The Critical Heritage (The Collected Critical Heritage : Victorian Poets)
This includes a strong reappraisal of Clough’s real, as opposed to the ‘ideal’, side represented in Arnold’s ‘Thyrsis’: his intellectual sharpness, humour and imagination. But Lowry’s main quarry was Arnold; though he takes care to stress the younger Arnold’s debt to Clough, he only had Arnold’s side of the correspondence. In the same year the minor satirist Humbert Wolfe, in The Eighteen Sixties (ed. John Drinkwater), seized on what might have been a more profitable line of approach, but his thesis that Clough was less a frustrated believer than a frustrated satirist muffled by ‘the swaddling clothes of Arnoldism’ is vitiated by his assumption 21 CLOUGH that Clough remained nevertheless a case of unfulfilled promise.
If he has lagged behind Arnold, as well as Tennyson, Browning and others, it is largely because of the recurrent, debilitating preoccupation with his seductively discussable personality. 36 I shall confine myself to mentioning some of the most interesting criticisms and indicating the main lines of development. Lucas. Lucas’s ‘Thyrsis’, first published in Life and Letters Today (II, May 1929), reprinted in Eight Victorian Poets (1930) and again in Ten Victorian Poets (1940), is a singularly destructive exercise in Stracheyesque disparagement.
Robertson (No. 54); he finds, unlike earlier critics, that ‘we cannot mistake the irony’. He vindicates Clough in terms which only critics who have the advantage of hindsight can confidently use: ‘it is the poet’s function to hold up a mirror to his age, as well as lead it…we still admire Hamlet and Faust’. 25 (With Tennyson Symonds is, however, at one in his admiration for the Mari Magno tales. ’26 Symonds’s essay is also distinguished for some shrewd comparative comments—not ‘analysis’, which, for him as for most Victorian critics, signifies copious quotation interlaced with sketchy commentary on subject-matter and plot.
Arthur Hugh Clough: The Critical Heritage (The Collected Critical Heritage : Victorian Poets) by Michael Thorpe