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This major new reading of the novels of Thomas Hardy, by leading critic George Levine, disentangles the author's often elaborately distanced prose from his beautiful poetic and precise renderings of the natural world. Clear, direct and minimally academic in his own writing, Levine provides an overview of Hardy's entire fictional canon, with extensive discussions of his early and late novels including his last, The Well-Beloved. Levine draws new attention to the way Hardy absorbed both the ideas and the writing strategies of Charles Darwin, and develops new perspectives first articulated in the criticism of great novelists - in particular Virginia Woolf and D. H. Lawrence. Levine departs from the critical norm by reading Hardy in the context of his deep feeling for the natural world and all living things, and the implicit affirmation of life that sometimes drives his bleakest narratives.Read more
- A vibrant and illuminating non-specialist account of the novels of Thomas Hardy by one of the most eminent scholars of Victorian literature
- Considers Hardy's work in the perspective of the literary influence of Charles Darwin on the one hand and the reactions of D. H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf on the other
- Offers new insights into Hardy's prose and the ways in which he renders the natural world
Reviews & endorsements
'A wide range of readers will be attracted by the accessible style, moderate length, and reasonable price of Reading Thomas Hardy. Those less familiar with Hardy criticism will benefit from Levine’s adept summaries of some of the major areas of debate, which cover questions of realism, style, respectability, narrative position, and observation. But, above all, this book will bring into critical view a more dynamic understanding of Hardy - a writer whose attentiveness to the natural world re-enchants his readers.' Jonathan Godshaw Memel, Modern Language Review
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- Date Published: October 2017
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107177963
- length: 162 pages
- dimensions: 235 x 157 x 13 mm
- weight: 0.4kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Shaping Hardy's art: vision, class, and sex
2. Hardy and Darwin: an enchanting Hardy?
3. The Mayor of Casterbridge: reversing the real
Interlude: Jude and the power of art
4. From mindless matter to the art of the mind: The Well-Beloved
5. The poetry of the novels.
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