THOMAS HARDY: The Novels and Stories by Albert J. Guerard

THOMAS HARDY: The Novels and Stories

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The first of three studies, the two to follow will concern Conrad and Gide, which together will show the progress ""from one state of mind and art to another-"" the contemporary literature of our time. This evaluation of Hardy, which presupposes a familiarity not only with his writings but also with those of his contemporaries and ours, chafes against traditional estimates, gives an interpretation grounded in our generation. Guerard's Hardy is no longer the dark fatalist of the Will (as was Lord David Cecil's- Bobbs-Merrill-1946) but a ""dogged, leisurely, old-fashioned storyteller"" and a rather commonplace thinker. The accepted realism of his writing is here revalued as an anti-realism of his writing ; the problems of social change, class feeling; the conflicting impulses; the ""exceptional inadequacy"" of his male characters, and the more plausible if perversely absurd women; the occasional mastery of mood, and the ""incorrigible sympathy"" for all who are lonely, unhappy... A highly intelligent appraisal which derives from an exceptional literary background, this should interest followers of contemporary literature as well as this particular writer.

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 1949
Publisher: Harvard University Press