Making Approaches to Hardy

  • Dale Kramer


Reading fiction and reading literary criticism are endeavours in common. In themselves, the two kinds of reading lead to quite dissimilar emotional and intellectual reactions, but the reactions support each other. Which of the two is the primary activity is obvious; but the importance of the secondary activity is attested by the evolution of novelists’ reputations — and in a firm sense their readability — in pace with developments in literary criticism. Of course not every change in literary criticism affects every author’s reputation in an even fashion. But understanding one novel in a fresh way often shakes our accustomed perceptions of other novels — especially those by the same author.


Critical Approach Literary Criticism Critical Edition Ontological Approach Textual Criticism 
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  1. 1.
    Edmund Wilson, ‘Dickens: The Two Scrooges’, The Wound and the Bow (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1941);Google Scholar
  2. Albert J. Guerard, Thomas Hardy: The Novels and Stories (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1949).Google Scholar
  3. An essay which may have helped prepare readers for Guerard’s book was Morton Dauwen Zabel’s ‘Hardy in Defense of his Art: The Aesthetic of Incongruity’ in Southern Review, vi (1940),125 – 49;Google Scholar
  4. Rev. and rpt. in Zabel’s Craft and Character in Modern Fiction (New York: Viking, 1957) PP. 70–96.Google Scholar
  5. 2.
    J. Hillis Miller, Thomas Hardy: Distance and Desire (London: Oxford University Press; Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1970);Google Scholar
  6. Perry Meisel, Thomas Hardy: The Return of the Repressed (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1972);Google Scholar
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  8. Roy Morrell, Thomas Hardy: The Will and the Way (Kuala Lumpur: University of Malaya Press; London: Oxford University Press, 1965);Google Scholar
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  19. 4.
    Stanley E. Fish, ‘Literature in the Reader: Affective Stylistics’, in Self Consuming Artifacts: The Experience of Seventeenth-Century Literature (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, 1972) p. 406.Google Scholar
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    Claude Lévi-Strauss, ‘The Structural Study of Myth’ (1955)Google Scholar
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  23. 6.
    The Literary Notes of Thomas Hardy, Vol. I, ed. Lennart A. Björk (Göteborg, Sweden: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgcnsis, 1974).Google Scholar
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    The Personal Notebooks of Thomas Hardy, ed. Richard H. Taylor (London: Macmillan, 1979).Google Scholar

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© Dale Kramer 1979

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  • Dale Kramer

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