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L'Alcalde de Casterbridge (1886)

de Thomas Hardy

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7,257101913 (3.89)320
One of Hardy's most powerful novels, "The Mayor of Casterbridge" opens with a shocking and haunting scene: In a drunken rage, Michael Henchard sells his wife and daughter to a visiting sailor at a local fair. When they return to Casterbridge some nineteen years later, Henchard--having gained power and success as the mayor--finds he cannot erase the past or the guilt that consumes him. "The Mayor of Casterbridge" is a rich, psychological novel about a man whose own flaws combine with fate to cause his ruin. This Modern Library Paperback Classic reprints the authoritative 1912 Wessex edition, as well as Hardy's map of Wessex.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 101 (següent | mostra-les totes)
This was an interesting book. I'm not sure why it is, that this book full of twists and turns and misery in relations kept my attention and felt like a page turner where others did not.

I was rather shocked to read that a man sells his wife and daughter. It was interesting to read what all came after that and how things ended for those involved in the end.

Possibly it was because Henchard, Farfrae and Newson were quite interesting characters, well worked out and well interacting with one another. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Sep 28, 2020 |
This is the first Hardy novel I'm giving four stars instead of five. It's a pity, because for much of the book, I felt like this was the best Hardy novel I'd yet read. Henchard is a wonderfully complex character, swinging between the influences of his demons and his angels. He's both generous and stingy, kind and cruel, humble and vain, wise and foolish. He rises to greatness because of his willingness to work hard and his simple, honest dealings with his fellow men. But, his honesty is also what leads him to ruin. When a figure from his past returns to reveal the greatest sin of his life, he doesn't deny the truth of her words, though he's a prominent citizen who's word would be believed over that of the drunken, slovenly woman who accuses him. In his bankruptcy, his creditors try to leave him some resources, like his gold pocket watch, but he leaves them to go sell the watch and give the money to one of the poorer lenders that he still owes.

He desperately wants love and companionship, but his temper and inability to disguise his feelings drive everyone away from him.

The plot is full of twists that keep you turning the page, and the supporting cast is well drawn.

The sour spot for me--and I guess I should warn this is a spoiler, though I'm not sure spoiler warnings are relevant for a book this old--comes late in the book when the real father of his adopted daughter, Elizabeth Jane, shows up. Henchard, afraid of losing the last person in the world who loves him, immediately lies and tells the real father than his daughter is dead. Hardy justifies this reasonably well, taking us deep into Henchard's motives for doing so, but I still felt that his contradicted the central truth he established about Henchard in ever page before, which was that he wouldn't lie even if the truth would cost him dearly. Though, in fairness, while Henchard wouldn't lie when directly confronted with the truth, there are numerous occasions beforehand where he conspires to hide the truth without actually advancing a falsehood, such as not revealing to Elizabeth Jane that she's not his natural daughter. So, perhaps Hardy felt like he'd done enough to establish Henchard as capable of this one big lie.

In the end, I felt like this book ended on a tragic note for no other purpose than Hardy wanted it to end on a tragic note. With Tess of the D'Ubervilles, I felt like the character's tragic end was a condemnation of the prevailing morality of his day. The tragic end of Jude the Obscure seems to be a powerful illustration of the injustice of class and poverty. I'm less certain what lesson I'm supposed to take from Henchard's fall.

I still think it's a book that belongs on the shelf of any well-read person, but I'd recommend starting with other Hardy novels before tackling this one. ( )
  James_Maxey | Jun 29, 2020 |
Michael Henchard is one of my favorite protagonists (second only to Thomas Sutpen, with John Yossarian a close third). A beautifully constructed and fully realized character. ( )
  BeauxArts79 | Jun 2, 2020 |
There is so much to enjoy in this book from the moment Henchard sells his wife for 5 guineas. The reader knows that this act will come back to haunt the hero as it does time and time again. It is a tragedy that there is a flaw in a make up of the hero. The deteriorating relationship between Henchard and Farfrae is excellent too, the wheel of fortune turning. The ending is stark and sad but expected. Its is just a brilliant book. ( )
  jon1lambert | Jun 1, 2020 |
The version of the book shown here is not the one I read, but my copy, with no notes, footnotes, or any other editing is so old that it does not show up on the GR profile. That being said, here is my review.
This is a great book. I have read and re-read three other Hardy classics, Tess, Madding Crowd, and Jude, but had not touched him for many years. (The copy of the book I read is copyright 1969 and cost $0.50!)
I regret not reading this earlier, but am very happy I was egged on to do it by a “Book Buddy” and have read it now.
The story of a man who “sells” his wife while in a drunken stupor moves through plot twists and turns worthy of anything I have ever read. The plot of this book is well and more fully described elsewhere, so I will not do it here, but I will go on to say a few other things about the book.
The selling of his wife becomes a huge shame and a deep secret of Michael Henchard, the man who later becomes a wealthy merchant and mayor of Casterbridge. Henchard’s is not the only secret, however, and others who have them find them to be prisons of their own making. Henchard as well as another major character named Lucetta fear the consequences of their secrets and lies so much that they allow them to rule their lives. In the end, the secrets, of course, are revealed, but the feared consequences have already taken place before that time.
Aside from Hardy’s brilliant handling of this theme of the impact guilt and shame on people’s lives, both the “guilty party” and those around them, he also deals with the very human foible of misinterpreting events and the motives of others. Those misinterpretations lead to huge difficulties throughout the novel, just as they do in real life. Each and every one of us has had the experience of interpreting something a person has said or done in ways the other person could not possibly have intended. The fact that this is so universal is why classic literature transcend time: they present universal unchanging truths.
Reading 19th century novels is often difficult. The authors rely upon vocabularies much richer than those used today and their writing styles are very formal, often difficult to read, usually seeming overly wordy, but the stories they write and the insights into human behavior they offer are worth the difficulty of wrestling through their style and diction.
As I read 19th century writers, I am always stuck by their deep understanding of human psychology, of social psychology and of human motivations and fears. It is probably so surprise that Sigmund Freud was a product of the 19th century, but for alll of his notoriety, his understanding of human psychology is no match for those of the novelists of his day.
I have often felt that the reading curriculum of university English Majors ought to also be the curricula of Psychology Majors.
( )
  Paul-the-well-read | Apr 18, 2020 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Hardy, Thomasautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Allen, Walter ErnestEpílegautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Caless, BrynCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Chevallier Taylor, AlbertAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Dillon, DianeAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Dillon, LeoAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Gregor, IanIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Ingham, PatriciaEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
O'Brien, TimAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Wilson, KeithEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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One evening of late summer, before the nineteenth century had reached one-third of its span, a young man and woman, the latter carrying a child, were approaching the large village of Weydon-Priors, in Upper Wessex, on foot.
There is a peculiar commerce in Hardy's novels between fact and fiction, idea and image, that makes them elusive to criticism. (Introduction)
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One of Hardy's most powerful novels, "The Mayor of Casterbridge" opens with a shocking and haunting scene: In a drunken rage, Michael Henchard sells his wife and daughter to a visiting sailor at a local fair. When they return to Casterbridge some nineteen years later, Henchard--having gained power and success as the mayor--finds he cannot erase the past or the guilt that consumes him. "The Mayor of Casterbridge" is a rich, psychological novel about a man whose own flaws combine with fate to cause his ruin. This Modern Library Paperback Classic reprints the authoritative 1912 Wessex edition, as well as Hardy's map of Wessex.

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Penguin Australia

Penguin Australia ha publicat 3 edicions d'aquest llibre.

Edicions: 0141439785, 0141045175, 0141199598

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