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ConnieAnnKirk
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Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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Hardy's Faults

William Dean Howells wrote, "I love even the faults of Hardy."
 
What are Hardy's faults as a writer?  Do you find yourself enjoying them or disliking them?
 
~ConnieK
~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
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Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Hardy's Faults

That assumes that there is a set of rules or rights-and-wrongs for writers that Hardy violated. I tend not to look at authors in that way. Every writer does things differently, but are those faults? Is it a fault in Homer that the Iliad is full of graphic violence? Is it a fault in Tolstoy that he uses so many multiple names for characters that it's hard to keep track of the players without a scorebook? Is it a fault in Hemingway that he has little if any complexity and richness of sentence structures? Is it a fault in Donne that he uses such complex grammar, or in Milton that he is so full of classical allusions that he is hard for modern readers to read without lots of annotations? Is it a fault in D.H. Lawrence that he feels the need to fill some of his books with graphic sexual descriptions? (Well, in that case yes, but that's another story.)

There are some things I will accept as faults. Violating the laws of nature (unless in a fantasy book) is one: if would be a fault to have a person drive from London to Edinburgh in an hour, or to have a character look out a New York office and watch the sun set over the Atlantic ocean, or to have someone drive south from San Francisco and wind up in Portland, Oregon. It is a fault to decide to change the name of a character mid-book and not to go back to the early chapters to revise the name there, so that Anne in Chapter 1-8 suddenly becomes Melissa from Chapter 9 on.

But when it comes to writing style or method of presentation, the word fault implies a superiority of judgment on the part of the person finding fault. I find it hard to read a book that way. So I find the question of faults not particularly useful.

But of course that's just me. I realize that if English professors or critics can't claim to find faults in books, it's hard for them to justify their big paychecks! :smileyhappy:



ConnieK wrote:
William Dean Howells wrote, "I love even the faults of Hardy."
What are Hardy's faults as a writer? Do you find yourself enjoying them or disliking them?
~ConnieK



_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Author
ConnieAnnKirk
Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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Re: Hardy's Faults

Here's the passage from Howells (a 19th C writer and book reviewer, btw; I'm not sure that he was a teacher) that B&N includes as a commentary.  The question refers back to this passage.
 
"I came rather late, but I came with all the ardor of what seems my perennial literary youth, to the love of Thomas Hardy, whom I first knew in his story A Pair of Blue Eyes.  As usual, after I had read this book and felt the new charm in it, I wished to read the books of no other author, and to read his books over and over.  I love even the faults of Hardy; I will let him play me any trick he chooses (and he is not above playing tricks, when he seems to get tired of his story or perplexed with it), if only he will go on making his peasants talk, and his rather uncertain ladies get in and out of love, and serve themselves of every chance that fortune offers them of having their own way."  --from My Literary Passions (1891).  (quoted in B&N edition of The Mayor of Casterbridge, p. 314).
 
~ConnieK
 


Everyman wrote:
That assumes that there is a set of rules or rights-and-wrongs for writers that Hardy violated. I tend not to look at authors in that way. Every writer does things differently, but are those faults? Is it a fault in Homer that the Iliad is full of graphic violence? Is it a fault in Tolstoy that he uses so many multiple names for characters that it's hard to keep track of the players without a scorebook? Is it a fault in Hemingway that he has little if any complexity and richness of sentence structures? Is it a fault in Donne that he uses such complex grammar, or in Milton that he is so full of classical allusions that he is hard for modern readers to read without lots of annotations? Is it a fault in D.H. Lawrence that he feels the need to fill some of his books with graphic sexual descriptions? (Well, in that case yes, but that's another story.)

There are some things I will accept as faults. Violating the laws of nature (unless in a fantasy book) is one: if would be a fault to have a person drive from London to Edinburgh in an hour, or to have a character look out a New York office and watch the sun set over the Atlantic ocean, or to have someone drive south from San Francisco and wind up in Portland, Oregon. It is a fault to decide to change the name of a character mid-book and not to go back to the early chapters to revise the name there, so that Anne in Chapter 1-8 suddenly becomes Melissa from Chapter 9 on.

But when it comes to writing style or method of presentation, the word fault implies a superiority of judgment on the part of the person finding fault. I find it hard to read a book that way. So I find the question of faults not particularly useful.

But of course that's just me. I realize that if English professors or critics can't claim to find faults in books, it's hard for them to justify their big paychecks! :smileyhappy:



ConnieK wrote:
William Dean Howells wrote, "I love even the faults of Hardy."
What are Hardy's faults as a writer? Do you find yourself enjoying them or disliking them?
~ConnieK






~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
Scribe
Laurel
Posts: 5,747
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
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Rabbit Trail

"...I came with all the ardor of what seems my perennial literary youth...."

I love that! Do you have that same youth? I know I do.



ConnieK wrote:
Here's the passage from Howells (a 19th C writer and book reviewer, btw; I'm not sure that he was a teacher) that B&N includes as a commentary. The question refers back to this passage.
"I came rather late, but I came with all the ardor of what seems my perennial literary youth, to the love of Thomas Hardy, whom I first knew in his story A Pair of Blue Eyes. As usual, after I had read this book and felt the new charm in it, I wished to read the books of no other author, and to read his books over and over. I love even the faults of Hardy; I will let him play me any trick he chooses (and he is not above playing tricks, when he seems to get tired of his story or perplexed with it), if only he will go on making his peasants talk, and his rather uncertain ladies get in and out of love, and serve themselves of every chance that fortune offers them of having their own way." --from My Literary Passions (1891). (quoted in B&N edition of The Mayor of Casterbridge, p. 314).
~ConnieK


Everyman wrote:
That assumes that there is a set of rules or rights-and-wrongs for writers that Hardy violated. I tend not to look at authors in that way. Every writer does things differently, but are those faults? Is it a fault in Homer that the Iliad is full of graphic violence? Is it a fault in Tolstoy that he uses so many multiple names for characters that it's hard to keep track of the players without a scorebook? Is it a fault in Hemingway that he has little if any complexity and richness of sentence structures? Is it a fault in Donne that he uses such complex grammar, or in Milton that he is so full of classical allusions that he is hard for modern readers to read without lots of annotations? Is it a fault in D.H. Lawrence that he feels the need to fill some of his books with graphic sexual descriptions? (Well, in that case yes, but that's another story.)

There are some things I will accept as faults. Violating the laws of nature (unless in a fantasy book) is one: if would be a fault to have a person drive from London to Edinburgh in an hour, or to have a character look out a New York office and watch the sun set over the Atlantic ocean, or to have someone drive south from San Francisco and wind up in Portland, Oregon. It is a fault to decide to change the name of a character mid-book and not to go back to the early chapters to revise the name there, so that Anne in Chapter 1-8 suddenly becomes Melissa from Chapter 9 on.

But when it comes to writing style or method of presentation, the word fault implies a superiority of judgment on the part of the person finding fault. I find it hard to read a book that way. So I find the question of faults not particularly useful.

But of course that's just me. I realize that if English professors or critics can't claim to find faults in books, it's hard for them to justify their big paychecks! :smileyhappy:



ConnieK wrote:
William Dean Howells wrote, "I love even the faults of Hardy."
What are Hardy's faults as a writer? Do you find yourself enjoying them or disliking them?
~ConnieK









"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Author
ConnieAnnKirk
Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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Re: Rabbit Trail

Hi, Laurel--Especially when remembering long summer days when not in school--reading and reading and reading stacks and stacks of books with no guilt whatsoever that I should be doing something else.  Oh, yes!  :smileywink:
 
~ConnieK
 


Laurel wrote:
"...I came with all the ardor of what seems my perennial literary youth...."

I love that! Do you have that same youth? I know I do.


~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Hardy's Faults

But again, he is never specific about the faults or tricks, so I have no idea what particular events, passages, etc. he was referring to.

ConnieK wrote:
Here's the passage from Howells (a 19th C writer and book reviewer, btw; I'm not sure that he was a teacher) that B&N includes as a commentary.  The question refers back to this passage.
 
"I came rather late, but I came with all the ardor of what seems my perennial literary youth, to the love of Thomas Hardy, whom I first knew in his story A Pair of Blue Eyes.  As usual, after I had read this book and felt the new charm in it, I wished to read the books of no other author, and to read his books over and over.  I love even the faults of Hardy; I will let him play me any trick he chooses (and he is not above playing tricks, when he seems to get tired of his story or perplexed with it), if only he will go on making his peasants talk, and his rather uncertain ladies get in and out of love, and serve themselves of every chance that fortune offers them of having their own way."  --from My Literary Passions (1891).  (quoted in B&N edition of The Mayor of Casterbridge, p. 314).
 
~ConnieK
 


Everyman wrote:
That assumes that there is a set of rules or rights-and-wrongs for writers that Hardy violated. I tend not to look at authors in that way. Every writer does things differently, but are those faults? Is it a fault in Homer that the Iliad is full of graphic violence? Is it a fault in Tolstoy that he uses so many multiple names for characters that it's hard to keep track of the players without a scorebook? Is it a fault in Hemingway that he has little if any complexity and richness of sentence structures? Is it a fault in Donne that he uses such complex grammar, or in Milton that he is so full of classical allusions that he is hard for modern readers to read without lots of annotations? Is it a fault in D.H. Lawrence that he feels the need to fill some of his books with graphic sexual descriptions? (Well, in that case yes, but that's another story.)

There are some things I will accept as faults. Violating the laws of nature (unless in a fantasy book) is one: if would be a fault to have a person drive from London to Edinburgh in an hour, or to have a character look out a New York office and watch the sun set over the Atlantic ocean, or to have someone drive south from San Francisco and wind up in Portland, Oregon. It is a fault to decide to change the name of a character mid-book and not to go back to the early chapters to revise the name there, so that Anne in Chapter 1-8 suddenly becomes Melissa from Chapter 9 on.

But when it comes to writing style or method of presentation, the word fault implies a superiority of judgment on the part of the person finding fault. I find it hard to read a book that way. So I find the question of faults not particularly useful.

But of course that's just me. I realize that if English professors or critics can't claim to find faults in books, it's hard for them to justify their big paychecks! :smileyhappy:



ConnieK wrote:
William Dean Howells wrote, "I love even the faults of Hardy."
What are Hardy's faults as a writer? Do you find yourself enjoying them or disliking them?
~ConnieK









_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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