Hugh (John Blagdon) Hood Hallvard Dahlie - Essay

Hallvard Dahlie

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The opening paragraph of [A New Athens] reflects what has come to be a Hood trademark: the transformation of circumstantial detail and self into a kind of mystical entity which, for all its ontological complexities, represents finally a re-affirmation of Wordsworthian man. Hood takes us quickly into speculations about "original glory," "wild multiplicity of forms in this world," "a curious infinity," and other components of transcendentalism, all through the consciousness—and prescience—of the articulate narrator/protagonist, Matthew Goderich.

The novel, the second of a projected twelve-volume chronicle about mid-century Canada, takes up Matthew's story a generation or so after the events...

(The entire section is 603 words.)