Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Read along, Tess of the D'ubervilles


I have read this book many times and every time I get something more from it.  My mind naturally fills in the blanks, I dont know if this is because I have seen 2 of the film adaptations, or if it is clever weaving on the behalf of the author.

Again another book of near misery, mixed with sweet hope that Angel will come back for her.

I could not have lived in the time Tess did, I would have found it very hard and the work they were expected to do would have killed me.

Alec is a master at manipulation, backed by money, this is an evil, toxic mixture.  

Will I read it again?  Yes of course.

7/10 

It's a quick read, I like that.

The next book is A Passage to India, I have already started it.  I love the discription of the stars hanging like lamps.  Its going to be a good one.

Sorry it is a short review, I am very tired.

It maybe that I just drop off the internet for a bit, as we are having a few technical hitches with getting a phone line...  Never easy is it...?

I will sign off here, with a "have a fantastic new month of September!".

I might schedule a few posts of pictures and turn comments off just to keep it ticking over.

Cheerio!, 

and I dont mean the cereal.

7 comments:

Janie Junebug said...

I think Tess is the saddest book I've ever read. In his own way, Angel is as bad as Alec. He lets down Tess when she needs him the most.

Love,
Janie

Raybeard said...

This was my third reading, the last being 21 years ago, and I'm as impressed as ever. It's a lovely work, full of what Hardy does best in evoking pastoral and farming realities by descriptions of countryside minutiae to comprehensively conjure up scenes such that one can almost smell rural Nature in scents and odours, both agreeable and less so.
And to this backdrop is added a most moving tale of the young Tess, a hapless victim of circumstance in which rigid social conventionalities and religious stricture play on her at their most heartlessly cruel. It would take a being of cold stone not to be deeply moved by her plight, set in motion by the head-in-the-clouds, yet understandable, conduct of her father, occasioning her meeting the immature Alec, whose heedless actions have one particular disastrous consequence which will reverberate throughout Tess's short life. Hardly any less blameworthy is the perfection-seeking Angel who might have attracted more of our sympathy had he himself lived up to the demands he had placed on Tess. But, like the social world they both inhabit, hypocrisy runs rife - and, indeed, has the upper hand.
The story unfolds flawlessly for at least two-thirds of the novel. My only reservation is that the final part becomes increasingly melodramatic as it rushes to its climax, putting a strain (though just bearable) on my own credulousness. But it's nowhere near being a fatal feature. In some ways the tragic conclusion seems pre-ordained and in that sense it does satisfyingly, though mournfully, round off the tale perfectly.

It's a full-bodied piece of literature, intensely emotionally rich, which even end-of-19th- century critics couldn't deny, as evidenced by the outright condemnation the book attracted from so many 'influentials'. The loss was theirs. It's as near a masterpiece as one could hope for.

Sol said...

Hi Janie, it is very sad and poor poor Sorrow. I am trying to read as many classics as I can. I didnt get a chance at school and then it just passed me by.

Oh Ray I love the way you write it is more what I want to say but I just lack the words and eloquence that you have! :) I like this one, it is why I have read it repeatedly.

Plus the words arent too poncy for me. ;) I dont need a dictionary

Raybeard said...

Thanks for what you say about my writing, Sol, but my efforts are way, way behind the standards of the authors I most admire, Hardy being amongst them of course.
When I first read him I'd have been in my mid-20s. I started with 'Jude the Obscure' and, to be honest, I just couldn't get into that book. Enlightenment came years later (as it also did for me with Dickens) and now I'd also place 'Jude' in the 'masterpiece' class.

Btw: I notice that there's no D.H.Lawrence on the reading list. We'll have to see if we can rectify that next time around. His descriptions of 'The Great Outdoors' easily rival and perhaps even surpass those of Hardy, penetrating deep into Nature's soul.

I'm now halfway through the Forster. I'm rather annoyed with myself in having put aside my copy of the next after him, 'Little Women', only for it apparently having been caught up in my big clear-out in giving stuff to charity shops. If I knew which shop it's gone to I'd gladly go and buy it back but I've been spreading myself over half a dozen so as not to saturate just the one. (And there's still a lot more to go). Whether I'll buy another copy I don't know. Perhaps I'll be asking your permission to be excused for that month? We'll see when the time comes. ;-)

northsider dave said...

I love Thomas Hardy Sol. He paints such wonderful rural pictures with his words. I also want to read as many classics as I can, especially by Hardy.

DUTA said...

As Raybeard says in his lovely comment - "hypocrisy runs life - and, indeed has the upper hand". Sad, and true to this day.

Sol said...

Hey DUTA, yes I agree