不釣り合いな結婚の生態(7)「従兄弟ハードカムの話」の場合--「共感の通路」を求めて [in Japanese] Modes of mismating (7) In the case of 'The history of the Hardcomes': hankering for 'a congenial channel' [in Japanese]
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'A Few Crusted Characters' in Life's Little Ironies (1894) by Thomas Hardy seems to pose a quite interesting question of narrative mode. This tale or a set of tales contains nine episodes of long-departed people of the village of Longpuddle, apparently adopting the narrative framework of Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron or Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. The narrator of the whole tales recedes into the background to depict time, place and people through a camera eye, while the episodes of the people are told severally by each of the passengers of the carrier's van which starts from the White Hart Inn at a well-known market town to Longpuddle. The main listener, Lackland, who has returned here after 35 years of absence, is to assemble the fragmentary episodes of the Longpuddle people of the past into the reconstructed image of the village in the old days. One of the most interesting episode, or a tale, is 'The History of the Hardcomes.' With the seemingly traditional story-telling style and somewhat sensational ending, 'the question of matrimonial divergence, the immortal puzzle - given the man and woman, how to find a basis for their sexual relation,' as Hardy puts it in the preface to The Woodlanders, seems to be presented to us readers with radically new aspects. In this paper 'The History of the Hardcomes' is analyzed from the viewpoints of the narrative mode and the theme of hankering for 'a congenial channel,' as part of a whole study of Life's Little Ironies.
- Journal of language and literature
Journal of language and literature 16, 1-17, 2008-12
The University of Tokushima