Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cannot return to The Return of the Native; but wait. There is hope!

I cannot take it anymore: I have tried to read more from The Return of the Native, and I just could not do it.  I even cheated and read the introduction by Lauren Walsh, which is a no-no according to The Well-Educated Mind, but I was desperate for a spark of interest.  Nothing.

That's it!  I gave this book a week, but I cannot go on.  I told myself that if I cannot finish a book for some reason, and this is some reason, I would move on; however, I just caught up with other WEMmers on the blogosphere, and it has been wonderful to read along with them.  Therefore, assuming they are going to brave The Return of the Native, I am going to choose from my supplemental list and hope to finish when they do and pick up with the next bok on the list: Portrait of a Lady.  


Hours have passed since I have written the above, and I have since received an insightful response from Sevenfourmany on this very matter.  In all honesty, I do not want to give up, but as I felt like I was already so lost, it was much easier to put the book down for good.  Well, now I want to try all over again, thanks to the discernment of Sevenfourmany; therefore, I will start at the very beginning with a clean sheet of paper, fresh eyes, and an open heart.

But before I get started, I am going to watch a copy of Anna Karenina by Masterpiece Theater that I picked up at the library and get AK out of my system for awhile until the new version is out.


Yay!  I have just completed the first part of The Return of the Native, and while I am not crazy about it, I know what the heck is going on.  I am so thankful for Sevenfourmany's encouragement to carry on.


Anonymous said...

Sorry I’m a bit late, but hopefully not too late. The Return of the Native is one of Thomas Hardy’s best and most interesting novels. Like all great works of literature there are many ways of looking at it and thinking about it. Fanda suggested thinking about the novel as a Shakespearean tragedy. This may work for her, but may be less interesting for you.

Hardy shares with the ancient Hebrews a certain view of history and its relationship to ethics, individual desire and divine will. The ancient, mystic and unfathomable Egdon Heath is in many ways reminiscent of the stern and recondite God of Job. Eustacia Vye is in many ways similar to Zedekiah. Like Zedekiah, she flees the wrath of God/Fate/the Heath--and those who fight suffer all the more for it.

"I shall also spread My net over him, and he will be caught in My snare." (Ezk. 12:13)

And while these characters enact this combination biblical epic and tragic drama, they are in some ways more human and sympathetic than a Zedekiah or a King Lear. In doing so he brings this universal and mythic struggle out of the realm of kings and prophets and into the homes of regular humans where we are more likely to imagine ourselves.

More here:

Fanda Classiclit said...

Good luck Ruth! I'm now having trouble with Dostoyevsky's Notes From Underground, I am puzzled with the narrator. And now I want to (like you) be able to say "I will start at the very beginning with a clean sheet of paper, fresh eyes, and an open heart." *sigh*