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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Monday, September 12, 2016

thomas hardy's comic relief

british library flickr (PD)
I bet that's a sentence you never thought you'd see.  Thomas Hardy is famed for the grim and unflinching view of Britain he portrayed in his books.  What a piquant pleasure to learn (from the Guardian list of 10 literary canines) that he was also famed for the sheer godawfulness of his terrier Wessex.  Here's an example from a biography of Hardy:
You stand under a little portico and knock. A shaggy, untidy ball bounds around the corner, knocks itself against your knees, barking unreasonably. A female voice from within: "Wessie! Wessie! Are you misbehaving again!"
At length you are admitted, your impedimenta disposed of. Mrs. Hardy, dark, small, preoccupied: ''The dog is a nuisance . . . Still unused to callers . . . Loves attention . . . Mr. Hardy will be glad to see you. He will not write autographs. He has had some unfortunate experiences with interviewers. Still, there are many visitors. Miss Amy Lowell has been here, and Mr. Clement Shorter, and Mr. Dudley Field Malone, an American—who is Mr. Malone?"  Wessie tries so furiously to eat wood out of the fireplace that he is at length led away, struggling, whining.
Heh, heh. From Brennecke, E. (1925). The life of Thomas Hardy. New York: Greenberg, inc.. 3-4.

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