Previously in this series…
- Bob Dylan and Thomas Hardy Part I
- Bob Dylan and Thomas Hardy Part II
- Bob Dylan And Thomas Hardy (Part III)
- Bob Dylan And Thomas Hardy (Part IV)
- Bob Dylan and Thomas Hardy (Part V)
- Bob Dylan And Thomas Hardy (Part VI)
- Bob Dylan And Thomas Hardy (Part VII)
- Bob Dylan And Thomas Hardy (Part VIII) (and 7 Curses, as nowhere else)
- Bob Dylan and Thomas Hardy Part IX
By Larry Fyffe
Thomas Hardy’s novel “Desperate Remedies” takes it inspiration from an English Baroque opera that’s based on Virgil’s story about the Trojan Aeneas and Queen Dido’s love for him; she’s fled in fear of Pygmalion (see ~ Untold: The Hart Of The Matter):
Pursue thy conquest, love Her eyes confess the flame her tongue denies (Henry Purcell/Nathum Tate: Dido And Aeneas)
Without revealing who wrote that which he quotes, Thomas Hardy accompanies his prose with poetic lines from various sources.
He quotes from a hymn: Like some fair tree which, fed by streams With timely fruit doth bend He still shall flourish, and success All his designs attend (Nicholas Brady/Nahum Tate: How Blessed Is He Who Does Not Consent)
The hymn in turn is based on the following lines from the Holy Bible: Blessed is the man that walkest not in the counsel of the ungodly ... And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water That bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper (Psalm I: 1,3)
In the novel, Hardy quotes from a poet who influences William Shakespeare:
Love Is a sour delight, a sugared grief A living death; an ever-dying life A breach of reason's law; a secret thief A sea of tears; an everlasting strife (Thomas Watson: The Passionate)
He quotes from an opera, a musical that’s inspired by the Tate and Purcell composition mentioned above:
Yet, were he now before me In spite of injured pride I fear my eyes would pardon Before my tongue could chide (Thomas Lingley Sr.& Jr.: The Duenna)
From a poem penned in the Age of Romanticism, Hardy quotes:
Its passions will rock thee As the storm rock the ravens on high Bight reason will mock thee Like the sun from a wintry sky (Percy Shelley: When The Lamp Has Shattered)
In the novel, Hardy shares with his readers the title of an Early Victorian poem; he quotes from it:
He looked at her as a lover can She looked at him, as one who is awake The past was a sleep, and their life began (Robert Browning: The Statue And The Bust)
“Desperate Remedies” tells the story of Cytherea who’s poor; she works as a maid for a lady; Cytherea loves architect Edward, but he’s engaged. She weds Aeneas, son of her employer; the son brings in someone to pose as his former wife when he comes under suspicion that he killed her; Edward comes to the rescue of Cytherea; they get married.
From “Mythology” by Edith Hamilton in regards to Aphrodite
(Venus), the mother of Aeneas:
This sea-birth took place near Cythera, from where she was wafted to Cyprus. Both islands were ever after sacred to her, and she was called Cytherea or the Cyprian as often as by her proper name … ‘Wonder seized them all as they saw/Violet-crowned Cytherea’.
Singer/songwriter/musician Bob Dylan likewise borrows from works of literature and musicals to support themes, like love found and love lost, that are presented in his song lyrics:
But, oh, what a wonderful feeling Just to know that you are near Sets my heart a-reeling From my toes to my ears (Bob Dylan: The Man In Me)
What’s on Untold Dylan
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