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Thomas Hardy

Discussion in 'Author Discussion' started by David181173, Jan 8, 2004.

  1. Enya

    Enya New Member

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    He's great

    Hardy is always the first name that comes to my mind when people ask me who my favourite classical English author is. I read most of his novels, I loved Jude the Obscure and Tess, great movies have been made based on his books and I think Tess is such an interesting story that several films should be made from it, I'd like to see it directed by different people and played by different actresses, although Nastasia Kinsky was perfect in Polanski's version.
    I also liked Kate Winslet in Jude the Obscure. See it!
     
  2. Gem

    Gem kickbox

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    Enya,
    Jude left me shocked, I don't think I read anything else for at least a week afterwards. All of his novels have a strong undercurrent of fatalism, but in Jude the feeling was in almost every page.
     
  3. pink shadow

    pink shadow New Member

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    I've only seen Jude as a movie, so I can't really say what the story is like, but the movie might very well be the most depressing thing I've ever seen. I shudder to think what must have gone through Hardy's head while he wrote it since he really seems to aim at making every person in the book dead or depressed.

    There is some lighthearted pieces amongst his poetry though as I recall it, isn't there?
     
  4. Gem

    Gem kickbox

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    pink shadow,
    Off the top of my head I can only remember two of his poems in their entirety - the one about the Titanic and the one about Living with Shades - both are sombre. I do have a collection of poems somewhere, I'll take a look through it and see if I can find some of the lighter hearted ones.
     
  5. tundra

    tundra New Member

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    I agree. Jude was a big shock. I've read Tess too. Both those books were a long and painful journey that ends in paralysis. So much, in fact, that I haven't read any more of his books since those two. I will eventually recover.
     
  6. kirsty

    kirsty New Member

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    I read Tess of the D'urbevilles last year. It didn't take me long to read which often suggests to me that I don't find it boring, so that's a start. It was an intriguing read but had a very seedy side to it. I'm not sure that I would recommend it as it was quite dark but then that may be the side of it that makes it a decent read, who knows?
     
  7. Roger53

    Roger53 New Member

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    I am working my way slowly through The Mayor of Casterbridge. It was a brilliant TV series. I quite enjoy his poetry.
     
  8. Libra

    Libra New Member

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    I have read Tess and I am planning to buy The Mayor of Casterbridge any thoughts?
     
  9. dollymixture

    dollymixture New Member

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    I absolutely loved Tess of the D'Urbervilles, and have recently purchased Jude the Obscure and Far from the Madding Crowd to see how they compare. I'm going to read Jude first because I'm looking forward to seeing just how dark it really is.

    I can't say I've read much of Hardy's poetry. Some of my lecturers at uni think his prose should be cast aside in favour of his poetry, but from what I HAVE read, I'm not sure I agree. :p
     
  10. Isabell

    Isabell Active Member

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  11. Libra

    Libra New Member

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  12. PhilW

    PhilW New Member

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    I had never read any Hardy until recently, but have read and enjoyed 'The Mayor of Casterbridge' and 'Jude the Obscure'. 'Jude...' is a strange work, and I can understand why it may not be to everyone's taste. I have 'Tess...' to start on next. I would put Hardy in my list of favourite British authors, along with Graham Greene, George Orwell and Robert Graves
     
  13. Libra

    Libra New Member

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    My niece gave me Tess a while back and I liked so, I want to read something else from him.

    We'll see how The mayor of Casterbridge is.
     
  14. tartan_skirt

    tartan_skirt New Member

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    I meant to reply to this when it first appeared, but forgot.

    I absolutely can't stand Thomas Hardy. I read both Tess of the D'Urbervilles and The Mayor of Casterbridge about a year and a half ago for a class (I was the only one of three who actually read them both all the way through, so it wasn't just something that was forced upon me), and they just aren't my cup of tea. I found his characters flat and lacking in interesting qualities and his style of writing annoying in many ways. The way his books drag on made me very aware that they were originally serialized, which wouldn't be so bad if it hadn't been for long sections where nothing happened and all I could think was that he was just in it for the money to fund his poetry.

    The man disliked having to write prose to fund his poetry and I have no respect for him or his works for it.
     
  15. Libra

    Libra New Member

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    Every one has there tastes. I usually don't read the same autor unless it's a series. I like to read different authors,new things, but the story interests me so I will try it and say my opinion afterwards.

    Tess was not boring for me. I thought the oposite. There was always something going on.
     
  16. PhilW

    PhilW New Member

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    Can't agree at all. His characters are anything BUT flat or uninteresting. I think I may be in love with Tess already...

    Where did this come from? If Hardy wrote prose merely to 'fund' his poetry, why then write works that were challenging and unconventional - controversial even, in his age - ? Why not just write 'pot boilers' instead? Much of his poetry as written after 'Jude the Obscure', by which time he had got sick of the adverse critical reactions to that and others of his novels. His first published volume of poetry wasn't until 1898, although it did include many earlier poems. He had the freedom to concentrate on poetry as a result of the financial independence that his published novels gave him, but it is incorrect to say that he only wrote prose to fund his poetry writing.
     
  17. tartan_skirt

    tartan_skirt New Member

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    I meant to source that before posting, but now I can't remember.. I remember reading it somewhere but now it is lost to me. But it was definately true that he saw poetry as his main base of work, but that wasn't the thing which gave him his popularity and paycheck, so he couldn't always just be writing that. I'm sure this made him ever so slightly bitter, if nothing else.

    Anywho, I know that everyone has their own tastes and you guys can love him all you like. ;) I'm sure I'll come around if I ever have to read another of his books in the next few years of my degree, but til then I stand firm in my strange dislike of his works.
     
  18. Libra

    Libra New Member

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    I started reading The Mayor of Casterbridge and in the first page it writes that Thomas Hardy started off with poetry but then wrote Novels like:

    The Poor Man and the Lady
    The Mayor of Casterbridge
    The Woodlanders
    Tess
    The Pursuit of the Well Beloved and,
    Jude the Obscure.

    "Amidst the controversy caused by Jude the Obscure (haven't read it so I have no idea) he turned to poetry again. In the next thirty years he wrote about 900 poems and epic drama The Dynasts."
     
  19. shadforth

    shadforth Member

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    I ordered Jude The Obscure from my local library purely on the strength of the movie version,which while bleak was also somehow beautiful and dripped with passion. When I went to collect the book,the librarian intoned, "You're brave!" I was a bit dubious,but it didn't put me off and there was obviously even more depth in Hardy's novel and again tho' often quite bleak the story was a maelstrom of passion and pain.
     
  20. the lady

    the lady New Member

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    However depressing Jude the obscure is I feel it is a thoroughly good book, it evokes emotion however dark that may be it still evokes it therefore his writing has done what it set out to do, he has brought the characters to life and made suffering a central theme. I enjoyed it, I have yet to read more of his work, so can't comment on other books of his yet.
     

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