Sunday, 19 January 2014

"...Kingfishers catch fire,"

"Dearest Bridges,

I am sorry to hear of our differing so much in taste; I was hardly aware of it. (It is not nearly so sad as differing in religion.)  I feel how great is the loss of not reading, as you say; but if I did read I do not much think the effect of it would be what you seem to expect, either on my compositions or on my judgments.

…The effect of studying masterpieces is to make me admire and do otherwise.  So it must be on every original artist to some degree,  on me to a marked degree.  Perhaps then more reading would only refine my singularity, which is not what you want …"

Letter to Robert Bridges,  sent from University College, St. Stephen's Green, Dublin.  Sept. 25 1888.  Gerard Manley Hopkins

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