Cinematic Hardy: an artist ahead of his time?

Robertshaw, Sophia Florrie (2013). Cinematic Hardy: an artist ahead of his time? University of Birmingham. M.Phil.

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This thesis engages with the idea of Thomas Hardy’s fiction being comparable to modern cinema and aims to explain this apparent anachronism. For this purpose I identify a poetics of cinema, distinct from the medium of film. In the first chapter I analyse Hardy’s writing in terms of this poetics and demonstrate that his narrative technique functions primarily in a cinematic manner. This discussion covers his consideration and employment of perception, his method of investing descriptions of setting and atmosphere with symbolic import, and his use of mimesis and diegesis in constructing a narrative. In the second chapter I set Hardy’s writing in its historical context to explore its apparent ahistoricism, examining firstly the scientific and technological developments which created a new understanding of perception in the nineteenth century, and then the ways in which Hardy’s engagement with the arts allowed him to express this modern sensibility. By this I demonstrate that Hardy is simultaneously in step with the foremost thinkers of his time and avant-garde in his incorporation of modern cultural impulses into his fiction.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Literature
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PR English literature


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