Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Wessex Tales

I was very keen on Hardy when I was a teenager but life got in the way and it's only recently that I have returned to him. Now Bert has also become a fan. Oh we are such a literary pair and you would not believe the intellectual conversations we have. When I'd finished 'The Woodlanders' I rushed sobbing into Bert's arms. "What's wrong?" says he. "Woodlanders," I sobbed. "I just finished it. It was so sad!"

Bert said, "The GOOD man."

And I said, "He was a good man and he was like you, he was brilliant at planting trees."

"Aye," says Bert. "But he was a fucking eedjit, lying out in the rain till he died!"

See! I told you we had intellectual conversations!

Before I read 'The Woodlanders' I thought 'Tess' was the greatest story ever told but now I'm not so sure. That ending was incredibly moving. Neither the babies dying in 'Jude' nor Tess getting hung affected me as much as Marty standing all alone at Giles' grave. I was very upset when the the Durbeyfield horse died and heartbroken when Jude and his wife botched the killing of their unfortunate, trusting pig. 'The Woodlanders' is the first, so far, where the plight of the humans moved me to tears.

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