although Arnold later comes to be portrayed--in the retrospective caricatures of some of his late twentieth-century critics--as a kind of titan of elite cultural authority and Liberal hegemony, he was certainly not throwing around much bourgeois-hegemonic weight in the eyes of his contemporaries.
Other recent studies have focused on in-depth assessments of Arnold or adaptations of his ideas by prominent individual authors of succeeding generations: Anthony Kearney's "Laying Claim: George Saintsbury's Assessment of Matthew Arnold (VP 48, no.
Hentea analyzes Eliot's own ambivalent treatment of Arnold as he explores the idea of the "classic" developed in critical essays by both authors, with emphasis on Eliot's "What is a Classic?
I am pleased to note, however, that new readings of individual Arnold poems appear from time to time, and I will discuss two recent ones: Peter Cook's "Scholarship and Integrity: Matthew Arnold's 'The Scholar Gipsy' and Anita Desai's 'Scholar and Gypsy'" (Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics 29 [20091: 195-214) and Nils Clausson's "Pastoral Elegy into Romantic Lyric: Generic Transformation in Matthew Arnold's 'Thyrsis' (VP 48, no.
In her story about an American couple who come to India in the 1970s, David, the protagonist, is an intellectual who lacks integrity and learns nothing from his journey to the East, but in this negative example Cook finds an implicit plea for the kind of scholarly integrity that Arnold is searching for in his poem.