Thomas Hardy

I’ve tried very hard to read Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles but about a quarter of the way in have given up. Hardy’s descriptive skills are often rather wonderful…

Nature does not often say “See!” to her poor creature at a time when seeing can lead to happy doing; or reply “Here!” to a body’s cry of “Where?” till the hide-and-seek has become an irksome, outworn game. We may wonder whether at the acme and summit of the human progress these anachronisms will be corrected by a finer intuition, a closer interaction of the social machinery than that which now jolts us round and along; but such completeness is not to be prophesied, or even conceived as possible. Enough that in the present case, as in millions, it was not the two halves of a perfect whole that confronted each other at the perfect moment; a missing counterpart wandered independently about the earth waiting in crass obtuseness till the late time came. Out of which maladroit delay sprang anxieties, disappointments, shocks, catastrophes, and passing-strange destinies.

…but when it takes three chapters to figure out that a handshake actually resulted in a baby, and I have to look up half of the words in the dictionary, I’ve decided to watch it instead. I can’t get my head around the language, but I do want to know the story. Haven’t started yet, but I must say the rather dashing Eddie Redmayne is a certain bonus…

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