Wednesday, July 7, 2010

jude the happy

Well, maybe that would be too much to ask for. But there is something of the carefree laborer (maybe, though, given the helmet, a miner or a railroad worker, not a birdscarer or a stone mason) about this bust, sitting on a verge just outside Weaver Street Market, in Carrboro, and proximate to an old railway carriage made into a not very appealing looking bar/restaurant. Since the temperature was 103 at the time, I didn't stop to linger.

But could Jude have been happy? This is what we'll be attacking as a question tomorrow - via the first chapter of Sara Ahmed's The Promise of Happiness (and mingled up with issues to do with the object of happiness, and the place and nature and affects of objects in the novel). We moved towards it today when thinking about temporality and the book - noting how, if it had stopped at certain moments, it could have looked like a "happy ending," but - well, Hardy always moves on. We ruminated on the connection between this, and him turning writing lyric poetry, rather than fiction - a form that lets the past and present coalesce into one moment, rather than demanding, awkwardly, that this process be carried on into an imagined and unfulfilling future. So I guess the answer is - no, he couldn't - not once caught up in Hardy's inexorable fictional momentum.

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