Thursday, July 1, 2010

pathetic fallacy

It's sometimes hard, in New Mexico, getting one's head around to the problem of teaching Jude the Obscure - and teaching it for a week! especially when I'm at the point with it when I just regard it as a contrarian text, and feel that its whole point lies in giving a shape - a neat map - to pointlessness. Maybe Nietzsche would make for some happy airplane reading (though I'm thinking that Sara Ahmed's The Promise of Happiness should offer some good counterpoint that I might want to employ during the week). My current puzzle is - why should one read Jude? And/or - what kind of pleasure might it give?

It's certainly good on weather. So is Hardy, in general. It started to pour in deadly earnest this evening (just after I'd watered the yard, to be sure), and only by a superhuman effort did I remember, just in time, that my muscle strain wouldn't thank me for pushing one of the rain barrels round the back into a more effective place. This one is positioned pretty much dead on target. I'd been feeling like a Hardy character all day (as in Ch 4 - "But nobody did come, because nobody does" ) - not that I was expecting anyone, not even FedEx delivering something from Amazon - more of a general dark brown gloom state of mind - and then suddenly, with the thunderstorm, it was as though ions - or whatever - had started to race through the air and I'm back to normal again. All the same, I challenge Jude to offer an upbeat week next week...

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Kate, good luck with having an upbeat Jude the Obscure week. Whenever I read the novel I need to steel myself for the depressing lens it forces me to look through. Your quote from chapter four is a perfect example: there is just enough truth in Hardy's take on the world to lead to days of "a general dark brown gloom state of mind."