Short Stories All the Time

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... a few of my thoughts about 900, mostly contemporary, short stories.
Showing posts with label Hardy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hardy. Show all posts

10 March, 2011

Thomas Hardy, "On the Western Circuit"

This short story by Hardy, written in 1891, would make a great period movie. Included are romance, intrigue, and deceit. Clocks in at about 7,500 words and is a fun romp through the nineteenth century; although, not so fun for an illiterate young woman. And, of course, there is the cad who gets his comeuppance for toying with the young woman's emotions and in the end, he has only the missives to comfort him.

I've really enjoyed reading these Thomas Hardy short stories and highly recommend them as they are devoid of the melodrama in his novels.

"On the Western Circuit" is included in his collection, Life's Little Ironies.

27 February, 2011

Thomas Hardy, "The Son's Veto"

In this story, a son who has been raised to think very highly of himself forsakes his mother.

"Somehow her boy, with his aristocratic school knowledge, his grammars, and his aversions, was losing those wide infantine sympathies, extending as far as to the sun and moon themselves, with which he, like other children, had been born, and which his mother, a child of nature herself, had loved in him; he was reducing their compass to a population of a few thousand wealthy and titled people, the mere veneer of a thousand million or so of others who did not interest him at all."

My favorite part of the story is that this son, Randolph, forces his mother to kneel and swear at an altar in his private room that she will not marry a man who loves and cares about her, Samuel Hobson. Randolph--this very son who is a cleric--would rather she be lonely than suffer what he'd consider humiliation. A small amount of critique of so-called Christian charity and love.

It was written in 1891.

link to story

Thomas Hardy, "An Imaginative Woman"

"An Imaginative Woman" was written by Thomas Hardy in 1893. While Hardy is known mostly for his novels, he also wrote many short stories. William Marchmill is a gun manufacturer and his wife "an imaginative woman" who becomes enthralled with the poet whose rooms they sublet. Even though she never meets Robert Trewe, the poet, her husband believes that their fourth child, during whose birth Ella died, was fathered by Robert Trewe.

It appears that the BBC made a television movie from this story.
An Imaginative Woman (28 Nov 1973 / BBC2)

link to the story
Wikipedia site about Hardy