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248 He uses recent work on the relation of Forster and Lawrence in an illuminating fashion, and comments suggestively on other writers as various as Woolf, Housman, Shelley and Butler. Of course the whole matter of influence is a tricky one. As Elizabeth Bowen queried in an essay bearing witness to the extraordinary influence of Forster's writing on her own, "who influenced him? One finds no traces" (Stallybrass, ed. Aspects o_f E-1 H^ Forster [1969], p. 12). It is unusual to be moved by a book in such a series. General expositions, if successful, may instruct and amuse, but they rarely engage one on so deeply felt a level as Summers' E. M. Forster does. But it is his openness to the full range oT Fö> st er's a chievement and his receptivity to the nuances of Forster's imagination that make him so valuable a guide. He is as suggestive a reader of A_ Room with £ View (one of many examples is the set of echoes and alTusions he skillfully sets up to Michaelangelo and Mi lton) as he is of A Passage to Indi a. Finally it is his admiration, indeed his love tor his subject, evident on every page, that communicates itself so forcefully to the reader. Judith Scherer Herz Concordia University 2. TWO BOOKS ON HARDY Marlene Springer. Hardy's Use of Allusion. Lawrence, KS: Univ. Press of Kansas, 1983. $2T".5"Ö BTTTce Johnson. True Correspondence: A Phenomenology of Thomas Hardy's Novels. Tallahassee, FL: Florida State Uni v.~Press, T98T; $Τ8".ϋΌ A point of controversy in Hardy criticism has been the question of what Hardy meant when he used such phrases as "the Immanent Will" and "the President of the Immortals" to describe the workings of fate and chance in his characters' lives. What, in short, is Hardy's "philosophy"? In two new books on Hardy, that question is considered again, though it is seen in each case from quite a new perspective. Marlene Springer, in Hardy's Use of Al 1u s i ο η, examines Hardy's allusive method, which she sees as one of his central ironic devices and as a vehicle expressing "his contention that no one escapes the blows of the Immanent Will" (p. Ib). The results of Springer's enterprise are mixed. Where she describes the complexity of Hardy's allusive technique, she offers many valuable perceptions; but when she accepts too literally Hardy's polemical interjections about fate, she begins to undermine the very strength of her study: the way in which it explores Hardy's use of allusion as a means "to clarify his intention and to manipulate the responses of the educated reader" (p. 4). Let me begin with the merits of the book. It is noted in the first chapter that Hardy's allusions "are predominantly attached to cnaracter rather than to action" (p. 5), and the study is therefore in large part a reading of characters in 249 Hardy. The results are often interesting. Though others have certainly noticed how Hardy used allusions in isolated instances, no one has systematically examined how consistently he used the device for comic, serious, or ironic purposes. Springer observes that many of Hardy's characters are given a dual role by the use of contrasting allusions, and these are often manipulated at crucial points to change the reader's perception of a character. Hence Cytherea of Desperate Remedies, Elfride of A_ Pair of Blue Eyes, and Bathsheba of Far from t h~i Maddi ng Crowd all acquire new dignity at the en d of the nove 1 á~l the a 11 usions describing them become more elevating, less ironic. Springer also illustrates the way in which Hardy's villain figures—Manston of Desperate Remedies, Troy of Far from the Maddi ng Crowd, and Alec D'Urbervi11e of Tess —are made more interestingly human by allusions that modi fy their role as simple embodiments of evil. Many of Springer's points are strengthened by her attention to textual history: some of Hardy's most effective allusions were refined or added after the original composition of the text. Despite these and other moments of insight, however, Hardy's...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 248-251
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Will Be Archived 2021
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