Sunday, May 3, 2009

Novel therapy

I see that Claire Tomalin has recently written a book on Thomas Hardy. I had been looking on the net for a sentence that has stuck in my mind since I read it more than 40 years ago. I found it in a piece by John Sutherland in the Telegraph:
'What has Providence done to Mr Hardy, that he should rise up in the arable land of Wessex and shake his fist at his Creator?' asked Edmund Gosse, in his review of that grimmest of novels, Jude the Obscure.
My nerves are all a-jangle from the heady stuff in Atlan and Morin. Being reminded of Hardy has sent me off to the bookstore. I want to get back to reading British novels again, particularly from the 19th century into the 20th. "Again" means for the n-th time in some cases, such as Trollope, Dickens and Eliot. I'm glad I haven't read much Hardy yet.

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