Thomas Hardy (was: Re: survey results, part 1)

Jacob Proffitt Jacob at Proffitt.com
Tue Jan 4 13:26:14 EST 2000


On Tue, 4 Jan 2000 11:31:11 -0500 , McMullin, Elise wrote:

>Now my teacher's take on that was that Tess knew she could never be
>good enough for Angel (impure, marked woman etc.) so she was making amends
>(to him - ??!!) by donating her sister to the cause, as it were - and this
>was right and just because her sister was Pure in a way she could never have
>been.  Somehow in some mysterious way, whatever good thing came Angel's way
>was meager recompense for his total wonderfulness.  And I believe there was
>something in there about this being Tess's, I dunno, redeeming action
>somehow - the best she could do in her miserable state.

That is, well, the most disturbing reading of Hardy I've heard.  I wonder if
this is wide-spread.  Probably.  How sad.

It reminds me of people who think that "Wuthering Heights" is a wonderful
romance (hope I'm not stepping on any list toes here).  It's even more
disconcerting to realize that people can actually read the book and *still*
think it is a wonderful romance.  Disturbing, obsessive, destructive,
probably incestuous, but wonderful?  I don't even find it romantic.  People
really need to read more Jane Austen.  Not that "Wuthering Heights" isn't an
interesting book in it's own sinister way, but it is nothing like a romance.

Jacob Proffitt
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