“Hands Behind Hands”: Seeing the Dead

  • Galia Benziman


This chapter discusses the omnipresence of the dead in Hardy’s poetic world. The dead are ever around, and their continued presence is potentially consoling, as in traditional elegy. At the same time, the perpetual existence of the dead might create anxiety, a constant shadow that renders life meaningless. In this respect, Hardy is far from being a consistent advocate of the preservation of memory. Yet he does not share modern elegy’s often direct confrontation with the finality of loss either. His depiction of mourning and grief lies in between modern and traditional attitudes. Interrogating psychological mechanisms of denial, Hardy consciously treats the fantasy about death’s unreality and reversibility as an artistically and emotionally productive, albeit ambiguous, device.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Galia Benziman
    • 1
  1. 1.Open UniversityRa’ananaIsrael

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