Has Anyone Read of the D’Urbervilles?

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    This is my personal comment on Hardy’s book after nearly 50 years of first reading it.-Ron in Tasmania



    I first came across Thomas Hardy in grades 11 and 12 in Burlington Ontario. His novels The Mayor of Casterbridge and Tess of the D’Urbervilles were the novels we studied in those last two years at Burlington Central High School.  I was a good student, near the top of my class, but I remember finding Hardy: heavy, cumbersome, difficult reading, although nowhere near as difficult as the Shakespeare play we also studied each year. I did not come across Hardy again until some thirty years later in the early 1990s when I taught matriculation English at a technical and further education college in Perth Western Australia.  Again, it was Tess of the D’Urbervilles.  

    And so it was, when I saw this novel brought to life by some of Britain’s best young acting talent, filmed in the U.K. in 2008 and shown on ABC11 this week, I could not help but reflect and so wrote this prose-poem.  Greek humanism and not Christian revelation, in the end, stands out in Hardy.  It is a road I would have gone down myself had I not discovered a new Flame-Voice and Its extreme solutions, a new prophet placed in Israel’s oven where the heat consumes everything but compassion.2-Ron Price with thanks to 1 ABC1 TV, Sunday 8:30, 11 April 2010 and 2Roger White, Occasions of Grace, George Ronald, Oxford, 1992, p.102 and p.97.

    How could one forget your words:

    happiness is but one occasional….

    episode in a general drama of pain!

    No wonder I found you ponderous at

    the age of 16 when the oils of youth

    were bulging out…seeking to grease

    and light my life beyond that world

    of sport, school, girls and endlessly

    familiar stuff that was my life then.

    Your reputation for extreme pessimism,

    your pessimistic pantheism, precedence

    of feeling over thought…..religious and

    metaphysical uncertainties…a nostalgia

    for the things of everyday, a longing for

    lost faith, seeing change as superficial in

    your world—its doomed stronghold of

    ancient ways of life, morbid in a way, but

    also sublimely compassionate: your many-

    sided personality, Thomas, very attractive.

    Your sense of dignity, of awe and a power

    of endurance in a timeless universe: what a

    grand and strange place which we glimpse

    only momentarily through the accidents and

    coincidences, the tragic fate and a series of

    kicks on the long road, long haul to disaster:

    no light at the end of your tunnel, eh, Thomas?

    Ron Price

    16 April 2010


    yes, i have read it a few years ago, it is perfect novel, but it is sort of tragic.


    Yes.LaughI also read it and i agree with andy1987.

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