“I Do but the Phantom Retain”: The Mistrust of Memory

  • Galia Benziman


This chapter deals with Hardy’s undermining of memory as a guarantor of faithfulness. The prevailing critical view of Hardy as a devout preserver of memory is thus further undermined. Questioning the extent to which the lost person recalled to mind is reconstructed, made up or simply not present in any conceivable form, Hardy probes the basis of nostalgia and the true object of mourning, and challenges the distinction between forgetting and remembering. The figures and images of the dead turn the mourner into a writer or artist, and render the dead a visual or textual image related to poetic creation more closely than to simple memory. Hardy’s emphasis on the survivor’s emotional interests and imaginative faculty reveals the self-absorption and creative capacity inherent in mourning.

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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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