Thomas Hardy: Imagining Imagination Hardy's Poetry and by Barbara Hardy

By Barbara Hardy

The writer of this article bargains shut readings of Thomas Hardy's poetry and novels, relating to those as expressive varieties for the invention of daily acts of mind's eye. the topics and kinds tested the following comprise narrative, dialog, gossip, reminiscence, gender, poetry of position and imaginitive threshold. Altogether the learn is a contribution to theories of reflexivity, increasing and revising a few of the research supplied by means of Professor Hardy in ''The acceptable Form'' and ''Tellers and Listeners''.

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He is a good teller because he is highly sensitive and impressionable — he is deeply impressed by Mrs Yeobright's forbidding of the banns — but detached. Though he loves to take the floor, he can listen, and always knows whom he is talking to, with the exception of the only occasion when he is guilty of tactlessness, mentioning 'the man no woman at all would marry' in the company of Christian Cantle, whom the cap unfortunately fits. He never tells his own story, but we piece together the ghost of an autobiographical subtext.

Hardy articulates Tess's creativity in a pure language — pure in being natural, unaffected, freely self-expressive and exploratory, and with the beauty of image and musical order. It is revealed as Tess develops, like the style and sensibility of Stephen Dedalus, though without Stephen's reading and revision. This is Hardy's portrait of the artist as a young countrywoman. 'But for the world's opinion', Tess's seduction, pregnancy, and the death of her child, Hardy says at the beginning of the second Phase, 'Maiden no More' 'would have been simply a liberal education' (Chap.

Giles Winterborne's elegy in The Woodlanders is spoken by Marty, another imaginative character. Isolated, without a technical claim to be chief mourner, Marty renews the ancient vegetation ritual of health and faith, the funeral gifts of memorial, hope, praise, flowers and sympathetic magic. Hardy moves us by characters who are not excessively noble, like Henchard and Marty. Henchard is faulty in many ways, but the more virtuous Marty is jealously Centres of creativity in the novels 43 delighted when her rival leaves her to hug her superior fidelity and sole possession of Giles.

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