"What consciousness grasps": "silent knowing" and the natural world in Hardy's poetry

Monika Szuba


The chapter discusses selected poems from Thomas Hardy’s vast body of poetry, focusing on representations of the self and the world. Employing Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s concepts such as the body-subject, wild being, flesh, and reversibility and J. Hillis Miller's concept of anastomosis, the essay offers an analysis of Hardy’s poems in the light of phenomenological philosophy and literary theory. It argues that far from demonstrating ‘cosmic indifference’, Hardy’s poetry offers a sympathetic vision of interrelations governing the universe. The attunement with voices of the Earth foregrounded in the poems enables the self’s entanglement in the flesh of the world, a chiasmatic intertwining of beings inserted between the leaves of the world. The relation of the self with the world is established through the act of perception, mainly visual and aural, when the body becomes intertwined with the world resulting in a powerful welding. Such moments of vision are brief and elusive, which enhances a sense of transitoriness and yet they are also timeless as the self becomes immersed in the experience. As time is a recurrent theme in Hardy’s poetry, it is discussed in the essay in the context of dwelling, the provisionality of which is demonstrated in the prevalent sense of temporality, marked by seasons and birdsong, which underline the rhythms of the world.
Author Monika Szuba (FL / IEAS)
Monika Szuba,,
- Institute of English and American Studies
Publication size in sheets0.8
Book Wolfreys Julian, Szuba Monika (eds.): Reading Victorian literature: essays in honour of J. Hillis Miller, 2019, Edinburgh University Press, ISBN 978-1-4744-4797-3, [978-1-4744-4799-7, 978-1-4744-4800-0], 461 p.
Keywords in PolishThomas Hardy, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, J. Hillis Miller, fenomenologia, percepcja, temporalność
Keywords in EnglishThomas Hardy, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, J. Hillis Miller, phenomenology, perception, temporality
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)75
Score correctionScore increased (at least one author (N) declares Humanities, Social sciences or Theological science)
Score sourcepublisherList
ScoreMinisterial score = 75.0, 28-01-2020, MonographChapterAuthor
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