Advertisement

English Losses: Thomas Hardy and the Memory of Wessex

  • Julian Wolfreys
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter explores the relationship of subject to place, through the lens of phenomenology. Rather than simply offer a phenomenological reading of Hardy’s poetry and its formations of subjectivity, perception, memory, and the subject’s ability to reconstitute through memory the initial impression and experience of an event, I argue that, in a number of significant ways, Thomas Hardy is readable as a proto-phenomenologist. More than this, I also explore the ways in which landscape serves as a material and phenomenal place of memory, opening to the subject the phantasm of past events, and constituting the subject’s sense of selfhood. Language is thus understood not merely as a mimetic tool or means by which the world can be recast, but, instead, the very medium of a phenomenological apperception that makes plain the haunting taking place between the subject and the landscape. The poem for Hardy thus becomes the material manifestation of that which haunts subjectivity, and which goes by the name of Wessex in the text of Thomas Hardy. In apprehending this, we come to see an analogy between Hardy’s verse and photography, to the extent that, apropos Hardy, it becomes possible to speak of a photopoesis.

Bibliography

  1. Armstrong, Tim. Haunted Hardy: Poetry, History, Memory. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2000.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. de Man, Paul. Aesthetic Ideology. Ed. and int. Andrzej Warminski. Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 1996.Google Scholar
  3. Derrida, Jacques. ‘Aletheia’. The Oxford Literary Review 32.2 (2010a): 169–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Derrida, Jacques. ‘Telepathy’. Trans. Nicholas Royle. Psyche: Inventions of the Other, Vol. I, ed. Peggy Kamuf and Elizabeth Rottenberg. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007a.Google Scholar
  5. Derrida, Jacques. Athens, Still Remains: The Photographs of Jean-François Bonhomme. Trans. Pascale-Anne Brault and Michael Naas. New York: Fordham University Press, 2010b.Google Scholar
  6. Derrida, Jacques. Learning to Live Finally: An Interview with Jean Birnbaum. Trans. Pascale-Anne Brault and Michael Naas. Bibliography Peter Krapp. Hoboken: Melville House Publishing, 2007b.Google Scholar
  7. Gatrell, Simon. Thomas Hardy’s Vision of Wessex. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hardy, Florence Emily. The Life of Thomas Hardy. New York: St Martin’s Press, 1962.Google Scholar
  9. Hardy, Thomas. Far from the Madding Crowd. Ed. Rosemarie Morgan, with Shannon Russell. London: Penguin, 2000.Google Scholar
  10. Hardy, Thomas. The Complete Poems. Ed. James Gibson. Basingstoke, 2001.Google Scholar
  11. Hardy, Thomas. Under the Greenwood Tree, ed. and int. Tim Dolin. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1998.Google Scholar
  12. Hardy, Thomas. Under the Greenwood Tree, ed. Simon Gatrell. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.Google Scholar
  13. Jaggi, Maya. ‘A Life in Writing: An Interview with Günter Grass’, The Guardian, ‘Review’ 30 October, 2010: 12–13.Google Scholar
  14. Miller, J. Hillis. The Medium Is the Maker: Browning, Freud, Derrida and the New Telepathic Ecotechnologies. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2009a.Google Scholar
  15. Miller, J. Hillis. For Derrida. New York: Fordham University Press, 2009b.Google Scholar
  16. Miller, J. Hillis. The Linguistic Moment: From Wordsworth to Stevens. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985.Google Scholar
  17. Nancy, Jean-Luc. Listening. Trans. Charlotte Mandell. New York: Fordham University Press, 2007.Google Scholar
  18. Nancy, Jean-Luc. The Ground of the Image. Trans. Jeff Fort. New York: Fordham University Press, 2005.Google Scholar
  19. Nancy, Jean-Luc. The Sense of the World, trans. and foreword Jeffrey S. Librett. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997.Google Scholar
  20. Wolfreys, Julian. Thomas Hardy. Basingstoke: Palgrave 2009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julian Wolfreys
    • 1
  1. 1.University of PortsmouthBembridgeUK

Personalised recommendations