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The critic of the Athenaeum said on the first publication of Lavengro: "It can hardly
be called a book at all." In a way he was right. He also said it was merely a "
collection of bold picaresque sketches." It is for these — or for the best of them,
Clym is the first of Hardy's idealists, the first of what have been called his "prig
heroes," a man conscious all the time of what Hardy himself called "the ache of
modernism." In a sense, he represents Hardy's own values: In Clym Yeobright's
It was an attempt to define, on a theoretical basis, what before had been called
Realism. Flaubert himself refused to be called either Realist or Naturalist; he saw
himself as a French classicist, and dismissed Naturalism as an "ineptitude.
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Remember when literary critics read books and wrote about them? No? Well, I do now. He got a few things wrong - what did these people ever see in H.G. Wells? In Meredith? That they should be put next ... Read full review
THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
THE FIRST GENERA
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