By Rosemarie Morgan
The manuscript of Hardy's first nice novel faraway from the Madding Crowd vanished presently after its first booklet. Rediscovered in 1918 it sheds striking new mild by and large of Hardy's paintings. The manuscript pages, a few of that are reproduced right here in facsimile, exhibit Hardy's unique composition within the novel, and the reluctantly `cancelled phrases' that have been the results of a protracted fight with Sir Leslie Stephen, Hardy's editor. Cancelled phrases unearths the way during which Hardy labored, his resistance to censorship, his obsessive realization to aspect and precision, and the usually hid approaches underlying his authorship. eventually, it serves to form our realizing of the advance of the fashionable novel.
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Extra info for Cancelled Words: Rediscovering Thomas Hardy
Perpetually at odds with the world himself, perpetually experiencing a strong sense of alienation from contemporary ideologies, perpetually at loggerheads with literary reviewers and no less frustrated with passionate relationships (in later years, in self-referential terms, a ‘misfit’), that balance between identification and differentiation that weighs in the creative imagination in varying degrees of acceptable and rejectable projections becomes, for Hardy, the more problematical, 20 Preamble the more ambivalent with alienated, ‘outcast’ characters.
Nice women didn’t …’; just as ‘nice women’, one hundred years later, did not contract sexually transmitted diseases. But evidently Hardy, who abhorred hypocrisy, double-standards and sexual prudery, was sufficiently irritated, or sufficiently frustrated, or in some way sufficiently provoked by his censors into making a point of revising this section later to insist on the fact that Troy is the bastard offspring of an illicit union between two ‘respectable’ people. Certainly, if the story of the watch is to signify at all as a thread in Troy’s history, it needs to be woven into the broader fabric of the community story, or the gossip which customarily serves to strengthen the security of the group while making targets of those who threaten it.
Unfortunately for the boy, his best friends died; and he got then a situation as second clerk at a lawyer’s in Casterbridge. He stayed there for some time, and might have worked himself into a dignified position of some sort…’ Here, we have Hardy’s first reference to Troy’s mother, ‘a French governess’, but not, as yet, the full reference as Hardy possibly first offered it to Stephen in proof revision for the Cornhill, which seems to have looked a little more like this: ‘H’m—… A slight romance attaches to him, too.
Cancelled Words: Rediscovering Thomas Hardy by Rosemarie Morgan