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(Entry: August 27th, 2005)

Music for Thomas Hardy

After nearly ten years of hoarding it in the storeroom, I decided to take out a gift (now yellowed :P) of a complete Thomas Hardy edition. On the rationale that an artist's last work is usually his greatest (see Wagner, Parsifal :D) decidedto tackle "Jude the Obscure" first. ...

Omigawd what an utterly depressing read!shock.gif Felt sick to the eyeballs when it was all over. This work must be considered masterful then, to have such an effect on the reader.:?Definitely not recommended reading for pregnant women with sensitive natures.

Fortunately I chose not to play my fave composers' music while reading this dark novel. Picked Elgar's symphonies, which I rarely listen to, for musical wallpaper. Had it been anything by Wagner, this new added association with the gloom of "Jude the Obscure" would have coloured my future Wagner listening sessions, even if there was no Hardy in my hands.;)With the rest of these gloomy(?) Hardy novels awaiting to be read, now could be a good time to buy more Vaugh Williams CDs. :lmao::lmao::lmao:Interestingly, it seems that whatever music I had sampled from English composers who were Hardy's contemporaries, they had the same melancholic flavour. Sheer coincidence?

Next week, Tess of the d'Ubervilles...

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Well, I have chucked that Hardy collection back into the vaults. Got as far as half of "Tess" before I surrender.gif. "Jude" was darker, but there seems to be a claustrophobic and uneasy atmosphere to Hardy's writing style which makes me shudder.:(Perhaps I'll wait another ten years or when I'm sixty and over the cable-reel before giving Hardy another go.:P

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Hardy was a truly schizoid writer - his novels, IMHO, are vastly over-rated, and you couldn't have made a worse choice than JTO - bursting at the seams with sentimentalised yokels and overwrought lemans, xanthippes andinexplicably uxorious mousemen. Dreadful people, chorussing for a group-slapping! :clout::clout::clout::clout::clout::clout:

However, in his poetry, Hardy found a vein of lyricism that suited hisgreat and genuine love ofa Dorest that, even in his day, barely still existed, and found the words to portrayplaces, people and eventsand the emotionsthey inspire, that strike many chords even today.:^

That said, none of this travels:plane: well I suspect, and may well fail to accord with your high-toned :dude:tastes.

For me, I'll take Baudelaire or the Earl of Rochester any day - I like me Pomes with the bones still in! :mmmm:

churz, eofs

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My, my, Sod...:Not Sure:There are so many more layers to your personality than there are in a rancid onion. Ex-punker turned museo-geological bellhop is conversant with classic Pom literature styles.:DWell, thanks for the overview of Hardy. You are right, on the basis of JTO and half of Tess, I think Hardy's fictional world is now quite archaic and has little relevant interest for any modern cosmopolitan man.If Sue Bridehead is said to be the epitome of the Hardy heroines, well then, it seems Hardy had a personal attraction/fascination for a feminine archetype who is over-verbose, nitpicky, andunyielding --- a hairsplitter who gets herself and others intounnecessary trouble because of her excessive navel-gazing.:grrr:

You make the poetry seem interesting. However, as rightly noted, you have to be born on the right side of the pond tobe able to appreciate it. So, once again, my TH collection will remain entombed in the vaults. Until perhaps the day I retire and buy a country house in gloomy suicidal Dorset, Essex, Yorkshire, Cornwall, or whatever...:lmao:

CheerSS

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Read Tess byHardyand Mill on the floss by Eliot.:(:(:( English Lit O and A level. Depressing is an understatement. Makes the Smiths and Joy Division sound positively happy

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English Lit at A level? Catching Boy George's juice in the eyes at a Culture Club concert? It is obvious who is the real poof here.:lmao::raoflmfao:

Seriously, I'm of the belief that the gloominess in Hardy's style owes a lot to the uniquely melancholic nature of the landscapes and foliage of the Victorian English countryside where he lived, and where he set his novels in. I dunno the right term for it, but I've seen some British period TV dramas which are shot in these desolate "Wuthering Heights"-type countrysides and the bleak yetintensely Romantic flavor of those places is awe-inspiring.

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You address yourself to the Winner of the (specially created) "All Creatures Great & Small" category of the 2003Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest - "a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels.". http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/

Hardy himself, in his more lucid moments, confessed that some of his novel-writing was of the jobbing variety- a means to earn a living- and this shows in the repetitive use of characterisations, subplots and locale. Eventually he abandoned the scandalous world of the "Penny Dreadful" and devoted himself to what he considered the higher art of poetry. He was unquestionably a romantic, devoted to his wife - who predeceased him and in so doing inspired some of his most moving verse, with a relatively uncomplicated personal life for an artist. Additionally, Dorset is anything but gloomy, devoid of anything that really deserves the appellation "forest", with wide sandy heaths and rolling chalk hills, begirt with sea and fine beaches to the south.

I think the melodramatic wallowing in the doomed lives of his characters was pandering to the Victorian reading public's hypocritical tastefor schädenfreudeas they wriggled, leg-crossed and tut-tutted their frustrated and unfulfilled way through the heroes and heroines plummet from passion to despair, in their gloomy, gas-lit, fern-filled,scumble-glazed and over-curtained drawing rooms. It is true to say that he was one of the first to take a "realistic" approach to romantic fiction - genuineopprobium was provoked at the time -and in common with many lesser artists, being first has seen him elevated above his station, IMHO ;)

Being a Dorsetman by accident of birth and boundary change it's a topic dear(ish) to my heart...

churz, eofs

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Something went awfully wrong with my posting. It's totally gone! :XThink I clicked too fast or something...

Oh well, there goes that lovely tribute I'd penned in your honour, Earl.:Not Sure:Too lazy to rewrite it again. Perhaps you are somehow destined to be an unfeted literary genius in these hifi ramparts.

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Hardy's scholastic prowess still didn't protect him from being born of lower class and this issomething that grates throughout all his works. Still the characters he writes about have very few redeeming features . Basucally he is hardly doing them any favours to endear themselves to us. Oh and Tess was asking for it the dirty little trollop. :P

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solidstateman wrote:

Something went awfully wrong with my posting. It's totally gone! :XThink I clicked too fast or something...

Oh well, there goes that lovely tribute I'd penned in your honour, Earl.:Not Sure:Too lazy to rewrite it again. Perhaps you are somehow destined to be an unfeted literary genius in these hifi ramparts.

:dunno:I won't sweat it if you won't - it's the thought that counts... :lmao:

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earl of sodbury wrote:

solidstateman wrote:
Something went awfully wrong with my posting. It's totally gone! :XThink I clicked too fast or something...

Oh well, there goes that lovely tribute I'd penned in your honour, Earl.:Not Sure:Too lazy to rewrite it again. Perhaps you are somehow destined to be an unfeted literary genius in these hifi ramparts.

:dunno:I won't sweat it if you won't - it's the thought that counts... :lmao:

Cool, then.:)

Even without such literary gifts, you will still be unique...

...for those shirts:D

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Duvet wrote:

Oh and Tess was asking for it the dirty little trollop. :P

Alright, you might as well save me from the agony of having to finish "Tess". What happens to our dirty little trollop at the end?:)

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No you've started the tortuous journey you must finish it.

hardy.jpg

Dour looking bastard isn't he

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