The weather here has simply been too nice to motivate me to post much. On top of that I had to have the starter replaced in our car and we have been cajoling a contractor to finish installing a privacy fence (currently there are just some posts and a few holes) for our backyard. In propitiation for my absence I offer this Rick Moody quote from the introduction to the Oxford World’s Classics volume of Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge (which I finished this weekend):
The canonical value of The Mayor of Casterbridge inheres in this very point, in the fact that this text is a capacious one for interpreters and historians. Yet I undertake to read Hardy now with my viscera, and I would urge you to do the same. Read Hardy with your entrails, with your humors, read him with the parts that you soak up the human frailties, not the parts of you that look for page turners or morals or affirmations. This book, I mean to say, drags the novel out its handsomely decorated birdcage and into the light, and in the process realizes a profound yield, the tenebrosities and melancholies that are beyond the light of our daily lives. As the author says: the doubtful honor of a brief transit through a sorry world hardly calls for effusiveness.