Bill Hopkins: The Divine and the Decay

(4481 words)

The Divine and the Decay (1957), reissued as The Leap (1984), was the first and only published novel by Bill Hopkins (1928-2011). It occupies a curious place in British literary and cultural history because its reception was embroiled in the brouhaha (partly fomented by Hopkins) around Colin Wilson (b. 1931), whose reputation was rapidly disintegrating after the initial success of The Outsider (1956). This reception will be discussed later; this entry focuses first on the novel itself.

Divine is a standard-length novel for the time (234 pp.), divided into twelve numbered but untitled chapters. In terms of genre, it is a hybrid, mixing elements of realism, gothic, fantasy, political thriller, …

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Tredell, Nicolas. "The Divine and the Decay". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 June 2013
[, accessed 06 October 2015.]

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