Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Thomas Hardy

There is no regular path for getting out of love as there is for getting in [love].  Some people look upon marriage as a short cut that way, but it has been known to fail.

From his 1874 novel, Far from the Madding Crowd.  The haughty young heroine of the novel first rejects the suit of an up-and-coming shepherd, and later turns down a prosperous farmer's proposal.  Instead, she marries a dashing young soldier who impresses her by demonstrating his expert swordsmanship.  (That's about as Freudian as it gets, n'est-ce pas?)  The soldier later tells her that his former lover -- who has died giving birth to his illegitimate child -- "is more to me, dead as she is, than you ever were."  He then disappears and is presumed to have drowned, but suddenly reappears years later -- after the heroine has agreed to marry the prosperous farmer.  The farmer kills the soldier with a shotgun, and is packed off to an insane asylum.  Finally, the heroine does marry the shepherd.  If only she had done that in the first place!

Poster for the 1967 movie

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