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Hardy's Literary Language and Victorian Philology

Dennis Taylor

Published in print December 1993 | ISBN: 9780198122616
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191671494 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198122616.001.0001
Hardy's Literary Language and Victorian Philology

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This is a detailed exploration of Thomas Hardy's linguistic ‘awkwardness’, a subject that has long puzzled critics. It shows that Hardy's language must be understood as a distinctive response to the philological and literary issues of his time. Deeply influenced by the Victorian historical study of language, Hardy deliberately incorporated into his own writing a sense of language's recent and hidden history, its multiple stages and classes, and its arbitrary motivations. Indeed, the book argues, Hardy provides an example of how a writer ‘purifies the dialect of the tribe’ by inclusiveness, by heterogeniety, and by a sense of history which distinguishes Hardy from a more ahistorical, synchronic modernist aesthetic and which constitutes an ongoing challenge to literary language. In this treatment of a writer's relation to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the book also examines the influence on Hardy's language of the founding and development, in this period, of the OED.

Keywords: Thomas Hardy; language; dialect; inclusiveness; heterogeniety; ahistorical; synchronic; modernist aesthetic; literary language; Oxford English Dictionary

Book.  442 pages. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Hardy's Literary Language and Victorian Philology

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Hardy and the ‘Dialect’ of the Tribe in Hardy's Literary Language and Victorian Philology

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Hardy and the New Philology in Hardy's Literary Language and Victorian Philology

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Word Status and Imitation in Hardy's Language in Hardy's Literary Language and Victorian Philology

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The Historicism of Victorian Philology in Hardy's Literary Language and Victorian Philology

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Hardy's Words and the Language of Lost Origins in Hardy's Literary Language and Victorian Philology

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Hardy's ‘Minute Way’ of Looking at Style and Idiom in Hardy's Literary Language and Victorian Philology

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Conclusion: History in the Current Language in Hardy's Literary Language and Victorian Philology

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