The Uttermost Mark: The Dramatic Criticism of Gerard Manley Hopkins, His Dramatic Works, and the Performance Thereof
University Press of America, 1990 - 229 pages
The Uttermost Mark is the first book to assemble all that Gerard Manley Hopkins had to say about plays, playwrights and the art of playwriting, together with his own dramatic writings, with special attention given to their performance. Dramatic is a word often used in connection with Hopkins' poetry, but his name is rarely associated with the drama. Yet at the beginning and the end of his writing career he was intent on writing plays and much of his literary criticism, to be found for the most part in his letters, is dramatic criticism. Furthermore, some of the more interesting pieces of his early period are dramatic monologues and the best of the poems written during the last years of his life are dramatic lyrics. This book is the first to bring this together. The author brings the shape of Hopkins' dramatic effort into clearer focus: the dramatic criticism is given a distinctness and coherence it has never had before; the dramatic monologues thematically linked and in one instance completed for performance; the dramatic lyrics, taken singly but seen as moments in a mystic drama; and finally, all the existing segments of St. Winefred's Well, treated not in isolation but as parts of a dramatic whole structured for performance.
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