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

McMullin, Elise emcmullin at
Tue Jan 4 15:10:20 EST 2000

	Jacob opined:
	"That is, well, the most disturbing reading of Hardy I've heard.  I
wonder if
> this is wide-spread.  Probably.  How sad."
	Hmm, after all this time it's still very reassuring to hear that her
reading seems out of whack.  Of course, if I had taken up the battle at the
time, I am sure she would have flunked me.  That class was definitely one of
those where the only safe course was to parrot things back and not think
about them - since it was the whole thinking part which always led to
trouble.  That teacher was the recipient of several teaching awards, too.
Which I think is too bad.  What is it that Mark Twain said?  "Never let your
education interfere with your learning"?

	"It reminds me of people who think that "Wuthering Heights" is a
> 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."
	Good call.  When we read that the following year of high school, the
teacher opened the discussion with a mild "So, what did you think?"  and I
burst out "None of it needed to happen if these people had had access to a
decent therapist," which was my attitude filled way of saying "tsk. what a
waste." And there was one girl in the class who was outraged - "You *Would*
think that, Elise" (heavy with scorn) and told me I had a very low mind.
She had never read anything more romantic, herself.  No one else could be
made to care either way.  Anyway, I don't think I can read that again
because Cathy and Heathcliff seemed so monstrous in the havoc they wreaked.
They spent my sympathy for them really quick.  I only got so far making
excuses for them and then ran out.

>   Elise
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