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37 The tragic irony becomes complete when the closing events are considered In full. Cornelius's betrayal of JIm has been made possible by the situation created by the pirate Brown (an Englishman , a seaman, a white man, and presumably born a Christian). Brown, In turn, can wreak his havoc only because he has been granted free passage by Jim himself on the basis of "their common blood, an assumption of common experience; a sickening suggestion of common guilt" (ch XLII). In recognizing Brown as a fellow sinner, Jim responds to the same sense of "one of us" that had in part made Marlow responsive to Jim. ("Men act badly sometimes without being much worse than others," Jim says to Jewel, explaining why he has freed Brown [ch XLIII].) In Jim's gesture there is, of course, his romantic idealism and above all his egoism, but neither of these denies the Christian humanity also exhibited. His behaviour creates suspicion in the minds of many of the Patusan natives. They do not understand the gesture, Just as neither Tamb· Itam nor Jewel can understand Jim's unwillingness to fight for his life in the end. Conrad, by means of his final contrast of the complex code and spiritual heritage of Jim with ordinary human affection and the courage simply to preserve life and physical well-being (Tamb· Itam and Jewel), manages to raise difficult questions of ultimate concern. We, along with Marlow and Jim, with knowledge of good and evil, may wonder if "his very Maker seems to abandon a sinner to his own devices" (ch VIII). At the close. Just as Jim personally remains ambiguous and "under a cloud," so too the moral implications of what it means to be "one of us" escape any simplistic formula. REVIEW Walter Wright, The Shaping of THE DYNASTS. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 19677 $7.95. The seven-page appendix which Professor Wright has thoughtfully provided on "The Views of Others" identifies the best items in a growing bibliography. The Dynasts, for a dialf-century slighted by scholars and critics who thought of Hardy as a novelist, has earned since World War II wide-spread recognition as perhaps the finest, and^certainly the most ambitious, long poem of our century. Bonamy Dobrée, Joseph Warren Beach, R. P. Blackmur, Lionel Stevenson , David Cecil, Mark Van Doren, Lascelles Abercrombie, and J. 0. Baliey have written at length on its philosophy and art. What more needs to be said? A great deal, it turns out. The materials In the Dorset County Memorial Library, examined closely, yield riches of precisely the sort that future generations of Hardy readers will want to have available. Hardy's library, as we know, is incomplete because of auction sales, gifts, and the usual disappearances; one can only speculate on the contents of the notebooks burned after Hardy's 38 death, at his request. Nevertheless, Wright has turned tens of thousands of pages in volumes owned by Hardy, and identified patterns of influence and thought in the marginalia recorded, year after year, in Hardy's precise script. Hardy's Judgment that he was, first of all, a poet has led Wright to examine such crucial questions as how Hardy developed a poetic theory for himself. He argues that there are two Hardys in the poetry: one, the poet who, "when told that one of his poems was not good, would reply that it was, nonetheless, true," and the other, "the genius, trained in the craft, but transcending it," "so familiar with the voices of Shakespeare, Milton, Wordsworth, Keats, Shelley, and the rest that the essence of their art often infused his verse." Wright has retraced the history of Hardy's absorption in the Napoleonic Wars, from his earliest years, when he read Dryden, Vergil, and "the classics," to the later years, when he visited Napoleon's tomb, the Tuileries, Saint Cloud, the battlefield at Waterloo, and Chelsea Hospital, where he talked to veterans of the campaigns. The major part of this study is devoted to the literary uses that Hardy made of his disparate (and perhaps ultimately irreconcilable) materials. It is a fuller treatment of Hardy's use of sources...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 37-38
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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