The Expression of Things: Themes in Thomas Hardy's Fiction & Poetry

Hughes, John D (2017) The Expression of Things: Themes in Thomas Hardy's Fiction & Poetry. Sussex Academic Press, Brighton. ISBN 978-1845198121

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Abstract

John Hughes explores Hardy's claim that his art sought to intensify the expression of things through three main sections on music, the body, and voice. These offer intersecting and mutually informing discussions of the central drama of inexpression and expressivity in Hardy's work, as it affects the various personae of the text, including the reader. Throughout, the book draws on themes in the work of Gilles Deleuze and Stanley Cavell to reveal how Hardy's fiction and poetry express and represent the affective and physical conditions of mind, and their conflicts with social fictions of identity. The first main section on music incorporates three chapters that examine how Hardy's writing stages musical experience as an expression of human desire and individuality at odds with the constraints of rationality, Victorian fiction form, and social convention. Intricate and extensive readings are linked also to larger contextual and theoretical issues in order to show how music as a theme and motif highlights the kinds of creativity and ethical cruxes that characterise Hardy's work throughout his career. The second section on embodiment and sensation shows how close attention to Hardy's writing on the topics of facial and bodily expression (and affectivity) reveal much about the sources of his inspiration, and its philosophical conditions and implications. The third section on voice offers three chapters, each of which centrally employs a close metrical reading of an important Hardy poem within its larger biographical and inter-textual contexts. These readings demonstrate how fundamental were Hardy's innovations in meter to the power and originality of his work, and to its expressive treatment of his abiding preoccupations with love, grief, childhood, and the loss of faith.

Item Type: Book
Uncontrolled Keywords: Hardy; Hardy's fiction; Hardy's poetry
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Liberal and Performance Arts > Literary and Critical Studies
Research Priority Areas: Being Human - Past, Present & Future
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2018 13:11
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2018 13:32
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/5341

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