Thomas Hardy The Return of the Native

ISBN 13 : 9780486431659

The Return of the Native

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Book by Hardy Thomas

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Extrait :

A SATURDAY afternoon in November was approaching the time of twilight, and the vast tract of unenclosed wild known as Egdon Heath embrowned itself moment by moment. Overhead the hollow stretch of whitish cloud shutting out the sky was as a tent which had the whole heath for its floor.

The heaven being spread with this pallid screen and the earth with the darkest vegetation, their meeting-line at the horizon was clearly marked. In such contrast the heath wore the appearance of an instalment of night which had taken up its place before its astronomical hour was come: darkness had to a great extent arrived hereon, while day stood distinct in the sky. Looking upwards, a furze-cutter would have been inclined to continue work; looking down, he would have decided to finish his faggot and go home. The distant rims of the world and of the firmament seemed to be a division in time no less than a division in matter. The face of the heath by its mere complexion added half an hour to evening; it could in like manner retard the dawn, sadden noon, anticipate the frowning of storms scarcely generated, and intensify the opacity of a moonless midnight to a cause of shaking dread.

In fact, precisely at this transitional point of its nightly roll into darkness the great and particular glory of the Egdon waste began, and nobody could be said to understand the heath who had not been there at such a time. It could best be felt when it could not clearly be seen, its complete effect and explanation lying in this and the succeeding hours before the next dawn: then, and only then, did it tell its true tale. The spot was, indeed, a near relation of night, and when night showed itself an apparent tendency to gravitate together could be perceived in its shades and the scene. The sombre stretch of rounds and hollows seemed to rise and meet the evening gloom in pure sympathy, the heath exhaling darkness as rapidly as the heavens precipitated it. And so the obscurity in the air and the obscurity in the land closed together in a black fraternization towards which each advanced half-way.

The place became full of a watchful intentness now; for when other things sank brooding to sleep the heath appeared slowly to awake and listen. Every night its Titanic form seemed to await something; but it had waited thus, unmoved, during so many centuries, through the crises of so many things, that it could only be imagined to await one last crisis—the final overthrow.

Biographie de l'auteur :

Thomas Hardy was born in 1840 near Dorchester, the son of a builder. His education was rural and faily ordinary, giving him a mixture of folklore, the realities of rural life, English literature and church music which was to be reflected in his novels. Apprenticeship and office work in architecture from 1856 to 1867 brought him into contact with London, and also saw him submitting poetry for magazine publication, but without success. He returned to Dorchester and started writing novels, the first published being Desperate Remedies in 1871. Far From the Madding Crowd, in 1874, was a runaway success and made him economically secure, and while moving around England and the Continent before settling back in the West Country in the following years Hardy wrote a string of major novels and short-story collections. The reception of Jude the Obscure (1895), however, led him to give up novels and return to poetry, which he wrote prolifically and eclectically, from lyrics to the three-part epic drama The Dynasts, from 1989 until his death, having peacefully receded into a literary establishment figure, in 1928.

Les informations fournies dans la section « A propos du livre » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

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