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L'Alcalde de Casterbridge (1886)

de Thomas Hardy

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7,622105934 (3.9)337
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 103 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Here's what I wrote after reading in 1986: "One man's lonely existance and efforts to master his inherent weaknesses and badness. Michael Henchard and step-daughter Elizabeth-Jane act out a drama in the Wessex countryside. She developed an interesting philosophy of life: 'happiness was but the occasional episode in a general drama of pain'." ( )
  MGADMJK | Jan 8, 2022 |
A teacher recommended it to me in school. Read it. Didn't understand what all the fuss was about. Convinced my teacher must've had a reason tried a few more Hardy's. Never quite got it ( )
  deepatarak | Jun 29, 2021 |
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 |
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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
Sharma, H.RIntroduccióautor 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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Mitjana: (3.9)
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