When it comes to reading, I’m a tough critic to please. Unless a book interests me within the first few pages, I will put it down and forget about it. But once I get my teeth into a good novel, there’s no stopping me. I can’t put it down: I sleep with it, I wake up to it, I even dream about it occasionally.
If the International Baccalaureate has taught me anything, it has taught me how to thoroughly appreciate literature like I never have before. That is why I would like to have lunch with Thomas Hardy.
I have on my bookshelf one fo his most famous novels: Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Of course, I have never read it nor do I plan to any time soon, but I have read a great deal of his poetry, and my god, it is good. The same can be said for William Blake and Emily Dickinson, but Hardy? He just takes the biscuit.
We’d probably have a chin-wag about the Darkling Thrush, the occasional pow-wow about Where the Picnic Was (or wasn’t), but mostly, we would talk about one of his greatest muses: Emma. His terrible treatment of her, and now his incredible guilt about it.
Ultimately though, my all-time favourite of Hardy’s work, has to be A Wasted Illness and A Meeting with Despair. Give them a read, but don’t just read them, I mean…READ them. Really read them and feel the magic in his words. You’ll see what I mean…