An Appreciation
Comments 5

A Hardy days night…?

… stuck between a rock and a Hardy place…?
… Laurel and Hardy…?
… we’d like to extend to you a laurel, and Hardy handshake…?
… Hardly the place for humor of this sort…

And what, you may ask, in the blu-eyed blazes is a-goin’ on with this here post…?

Go ahead… ask…

Well, today is the day that we remember the birthday of Martha Washington, born Martha Dandridge, in 1731.

See that picture up there at the top?
That’s not her.

Because the real topic of today’s post was also born on this date, in 1840.
Thomas Hardy was born in Dorset, England, in 1840.

That’s him… up there at the top… not even bothering to look at the camera.
Bored with the whole process, no doubt.
Probably thinking about writing his next novel… something that would make the label Victorian Realist seem positively pastoral by comparison.

Though not a picture of him as he was on this date in 1840.
I don’t think they were into pictures of newborns right after they emerged in 1840.
I think that particular social convention had to wait for a more portable camera contraption, which was invented long after the year 1840… which is the year Thomas Hardy was born…

Have I mentioned that Thomas Hardy was born in the year 1840, yet…?

Yeah, see, the problem with old writers is that occasionally you run into one of them (usually in high school English classes, where they make you read books that are good for you and that everyone should read at least once in their life, by authors you’re pretty sure if you were to ever catch up to them you’d give them such a look, and maybe even a punch in the nose, how do you like them apples, Mrs. Stapleton?) – *ahem* – where was I?… oh yeah, one of those writers who is so concerned with making sure you see each and every single blade of grass on the thirty mile hike the protagonist is currently just embarking on, that you finally just want to scream and maybe there is something to that scorched earth policy people trot out every 25 years or so, because if I have to read one more description of a field of flowers…

Victorian Realist, my sweet patootie…
A real Victorian would have given Hardy such a look, and maybe even a punch in the nose…

To be fair, I’m extrapolating a whole lot of info here, from precious few clues.
I’m pretty sure I’ve never read a single book by Hardy.
Not even in English class, and with all due apologies to Mrs. Stapleton, who was more concerned with drama than with English Lit (but she was the only English teacher’s name I could remember from high school).

Now, if you wanna talk Shakespeare, then Mrs. Stapleton was the teacher for you.

And it just goes to show the state of education when I was growing up.
Those of you ultimately concerned with Math or Literature may deplore that I didn’t come out a stark raving looney for your particular cause.
But I feel I came out about as well-rounded as a tall skinny kid could be expected to pull off.

And Thomas Hardy was not a part of this complete nutritious breakfast…

That being said, I bow to the educated opinions of those stark raving looney’s everywhere, who seem to think Hardy was da’ bomb… and will celebrate a great man’s birthday with the rest of you people.

Hopefully, if he really was a great man, he would have returned the favor.

Thomas Hardy said:

“Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.”

“There is a condition worse than blindness, and that is, seeing something that isn’t there.”

“The value of old age depends upon the person who reaches it. To some men of early performance it is useless. To others, who are late to develop, it just enables them to finish the job.”

“It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs.”

“The sky was clear – remarkably clear – and the twinkling of all the stars seemed to be but throbs of one body, timed by a common pulse.”

 

Happy Birthday, Thomas…
I hardly knew ye…

 

 

Image found here.

 

 

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5 Comments

  1. Liesl says

    You mean you never suffered your way through a Hardy novel in high school? Oh lucky you. I only came to admire his writing as a Brit Lit major at uni. He has a way with words and a commentary on societal norms that’s right up there with Trollope.
    On another note, I find it highly amusing that when one goes to inquire about Hardy one gets a list of all his films!

    Like

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