The essay examines the typical issues regional communities are confronted with when new ideas, coming from different environments, challenge their traditional culture. Communities are seen and studied by Hardy as Darwinian organisms that uncritically react to different ideas by devaluing and adapting themselves to the "new", but not necessarily "better", values. This is portrayed metaphorically in Giles's death. Thomas Hardy's "The Woodlanders" points to cultural memory and ‘critical regionalism’, that Hardy uses and defends beign this the vehicle for a constant openness to ‘the new’ mitigated by a conscious ‘strategic essentialism’ – as a possible protection of the old but positive values of marginal cultural environments. If organisms easily die, as Hardy points out, culture needs ethically to interpose as a mechanism to prevent, from a Darwinian point of view, the extinction of values of these threatened ‘minority cultures’.

Thomas Hardy’s 'The Woodlanders': Tradition, Heritage and Identity

BEZRUCKA, Yvonne
2007-01-01

Abstract

The essay examines the typical issues regional communities are confronted with when new ideas, coming from different environments, challenge their traditional culture. Communities are seen and studied by Hardy as Darwinian organisms that uncritically react to different ideas by devaluing and adapting themselves to the "new", but not necessarily "better", values. This is portrayed metaphorically in Giles's death. Thomas Hardy's "The Woodlanders" points to cultural memory and ‘critical regionalism’, that Hardy uses and defends beign this the vehicle for a constant openness to ‘the new’ mitigated by a conscious ‘strategic essentialism’ – as a possible protection of the old but positive values of marginal cultural environments. If organisms easily die, as Hardy points out, culture needs ethically to interpose as a mechanism to prevent, from a Darwinian point of view, the extinction of values of these threatened ‘minority cultures’.
Thomas Hardy; literary regionalism; critical regionalism; The Woodlanders; Darwinism and literature; aesthetic regionalism; cultural heritage
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/311001
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