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Thread: Who were Hardy's constituency?

  1. #1
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Reading, England

    Who were Hardy's constituency?

    Hardy doesn't make many compromises. For a start, he writes sad stories. He peppers his chapters with religious and classical references that you presumably would have needed a private education to appreciate, and also a lot of obscure latinate words, yet also a lot of West Country diaiect that you'd need to be country person to know. His writing is sympathetic to working country people, but I doubt most of them would have been able to understand his work. I have heard that Dickens' stories could be seen being read by butcher's boys, well not Hardy's. In Tess of the d'Urbervilles he wrote a chapter in which Tess kills some pheasants that had spent the night in pain after being injured by a shooting party. That chapter would surely offend the hunting/shooting/fishing crowd, presumably a large section of the only people who would know both the old farming words but have enough education to understand all the rest. This is without all the challenges to accepted religious and sexual values, two very touchy subjects, which got him into such hot water.

  2. #2
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Reading, England
    Hardy obviously deeply respected and admired 'workfolk'. He must have spent a lot of time observing them at work and talking to them. But was he a bit like an anthropologist, studying some recently contacted tribe in darkest Africa? He was writing about them, not for them. Maybe they couldn't afford his books anyway.

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