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Thomas Hardy’s Elegiac Prose and Poetry

Codes of Bereavement

Authors: Benziman, Galia

  • - Offers a valuable framework for discussion of Thomas Hardy's previously overlooked representations of grief and mourning in his poetry and prose
  • - Discusses Hardy's unique position as a Victorian novelist and modern poet, and as a bridge between these two periods
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  • ISBN 978-1-137-50712-9
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About this book

This book examines the transition from traditional to modern elegy through a close study of Thomas Hardy’s oeuvre and its commitment to mourning and remembrance. Hardy is usually read as an avowed elegist who writes against the collective forgetfulness typical of the late-Victorian era. But Hardy, as argued here, is dialectically implicated in the very cultural and psychological amnesia that he resists, as her book demonstrates by expanding the corpus of study beyond the spousal elegies (the “Poems of 1912-1913”) to include a wide variety of poems, novels and short stories that deal with bereavement and mourning. Locating the modern aspect of Hardy’s elegiac writing in this ambivalence and in the subversion of memory as unreliable, the book explores the textual moments at which Hardy challenges binary dichotomies such as forgetting vs. remembering, narcissism vs. unselfish commitment, grief vs. betrayal, the work of mourning vs. melancholia, presence vs. absence. The book's analysis allows us to relate Hardy’s elegiac poetics, and particularly his description of the mourner as a writer, to shifting late-Victorian conceptualizations of death, memory, art, science and gender relations.

About the authors

Galia Benziman is Senior Lecturer in English at the Open University of Israel and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research focuses on British literature of the long nineteenth century; in particular, on Dickens, Hardy, the history of childhood, and the Elegy. Her first book, Narratives of Child Neglect in Romantic and Victorian Culture, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012. 

Buy this book

Hardcover $99.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-50712-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Thomas Hardy’s Elegiac Prose and Poetry
Book Subtitle
Codes of Bereavement
Authors
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-50712-9
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VII, 173
Topics