Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Reading Tess

I'm reading Tess of the D'Urbervilles very slowly. It's a beast of a book and I can't take very much of it at any one time. It's too dreadful.  I know Angel can't help being such a shit but when he accuses Tess of being "an untutored peasant" I want to knock him down and jump up and down on his exquisitely sculpted face.

Quite a few times.

The dreadfulness isn't just because of bad things happening to good people- books are full of that sort of thing and normally I don't turn a hair- but Hardy is just so true.

Angel Clare, ce'st moi.

The truthfulness extends to the smallest details. Hardy's evocations of landscape are wonderful- beautiful but also precise- and go on being beautiful and precise even as his characters suffer.

"Did you say the stars were worlds, Tess?"


"All like ours?"

"I don't know; but I think so. They sometimes seem to be like the apples on our stubbard-tree. Most of them splendid and sound- a few blighted"

"Which do we live on- a splendid one or a blighted one?"

"A blighted one."
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