To say that Hardy’s style is not responsible for the steady growth of interest in his work would be specious; it can no more be dissociated from his imaginative thinking than form can be separated from expression in sculpture. His literary longevity owes much to his thoughtfulness and verbal economy, more to a creative gift which is often poetic, but most to his vision of life. Many of Hardy’s poems are based on his own emotional experiences, and most of his stories are set in very circumscribed areas. Yet one does not think of him as egotistical or provincial. As an artist he has the rare faculty of combining imaginative experience relative to the individual (himself included) with an unwavering sense of man’s place in the universe; his Wessex transcends topographical limits; and it is in wider dimensions that those elements which contribute most to his greatness are to be found.
KeywordsHistorical Sense Imaginative Experience Topographical Limit Imaginative Thinking Colour Constellation
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- 5.R. G. Cox (ed.), Thomas Hardy, The Critical Heritage (London and New York, 1970), pp. 277–6.Google Scholar
- 12.The influence of Arnold and Pater on The Return of the Native and the parallelism of Les Misérables and The Mayor of Casterbridge are discussed in F. B. Pinion, Thomas Hardy: Art and Thought, London and Lotowa, N.J., 1977Google Scholar