Posted by Barbara on April 20, 1998 at 20:03:15:
In response to Some candidates for parody, written by Laraine on April 20, 1998 at 12:51:11
] The brooding rural tragedy in England is probably Thomas Hardy's invention (Tess and
, for example). The problem was that Hardy was a genius and his immitators weren't. The valorization of rural life goes back at least to Wordsworth and Coleridge (I think you can even see it in JA), but the less-than-geniuses poured on the melodrama because without it they found the depiction of rustic life to be boring.
Now that you mention Hardy, I see what type of thing you are getting at. In Return of the Native, there is page after page after page of description of the heath and how it is like a living, breathing thing and so on. And, as you said, Hardy had the touch for doing this whereas it would be very easily overdone and could very easily become unreadable! In an effort to make the rustic life seem less boring, the writing of the poor imitators becomes more boring!
I haven't read Lawrence, or even much at all from the early part of this century--a bit of Maugham and that's it. (Oh and Edith Wharton) They are neither of them given to that type of description. The reason I mentioned Steinbeck before is that I found that he (to my taste) seems to go on and on and on with the descriptions of the landscape and countryside. I gave up on Grapes of Wrath after the entire chapter of the turtle crossing the road! Not my type of thing.
- Other parodies Kay 21:57:19 4/20/98 (1)
- In that first conversation between Flora and Seth Constanza 17:33:46 4/24/98 (0)
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