Summary (Magill's Survey of American Literature, Revised Edition)
“A Hill” opens with a vision, described in a tone of disgust for what appears—through contrasting images and language—as a gaudy European garage sale, with its “cheap landscapes” and “ugly religion”—a spiteful mercantile Italy. The scene is then turned over, upended, as it is again later, and done without textual representation. That is, there is no break in the lines when the shift of memory occurs, which creates a seamless transition and simultaneous blending of the former, a place whose “noises suddenly stopped,” with the suddenness of a “cold, close to freezing” boyhood hill in Poughkeepsie. As Hecht later confirmed, landscape in “A Hill” (and other works) is an expression of the desolation of soul, the bleakness, the forlornness, assembling and conveying deep despair.
(The entire section is 127 words.)
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