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Jude the Obscure
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Past Group Reads > Jude The Obscure - Starting the Read

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message 1: by Simon (last edited Aug 01, 2016 12:37AM) (new) - added it

Simon (sorcerer88) | 108 comments This is the first thread to share your expectations on reading Jude The Obscure, For a complete discussion, look at the other thread.
What are your thoughts on reading this last novel of Thomas Hardy's?


message 2: by Jan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jan Notzon | 53 comments From what I've heard about it, I plan on being depressed.


message 3: by Bill (new)

Bill Kupersmith | 125 comments Haven't leisure to read again, but shall be following the discussion & commenting when appropriate.


message 4: by Simon (new) - added it

Simon (sorcerer88) | 108 comments It's interesting that so many people apparently don't mind a "depressing" read, and for me it's the same. Perhaps for some a depressing read isn't depressing because it makes you appreciate what you have in your life, while others empathically reexperience that depression and assimilate those feelings and thoughts.

I for one am looking forward to this, because it seems very well written and a classic in a way. I hope i can get to it soon.


message 5: by Bill (new)

Bill Kupersmith | 125 comments "Depressing reads" can be quite enjoyable. As Aristotle pointed out in the case of Greek tragedy so long ago: we derive pleasure from seeing things that would be depressing in real life when they are well represented artistically. Hardy was not a cheerful soul, but he was a great artist.


message 6: by Susan (new)

Susan Oleksiw | 119 comments I read this novel years ago (and I'm looking forward to reading it again), and it moved me deeply. Yes, it was sad overall but I was completely captivated by the lives of the characters. It's interesting that after reading it the first reaction of many is to how it made us feel instead of the challenge it represents to the reader on . . . (so no spoilers here and much to look forward to).


message 7: by Jan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jan Notzon | 53 comments Read the 1st 10 chapters and am enjoying it very much, actually. He is a great writer.


Janet (goodreadscomjanetj) | 77 comments Jan wrote: "Read the 1st 10 chapters and am enjoying it very much, actually. He is a great writer."
Just finished the 1st 10 chapters and I agree that his writing is excellent. However, in reference to your first comment, I have not as yet felt sad but instead I have felt angry that Arabella could be so manipulative.


message 9: by Jan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jan Notzon | 53 comments Janet wrote: "Jan wrote: "Read the 1st 10 chapters and am enjoying it very much, actually. He is a great writer."
Just finished the 1st 10 chapters and I agree that his writing is excellent. However, in referenc..."


That's fair enough.


Janet (goodreadscomjanetj) | 77 comments I just completed the book. Certainly lots of issues to think deeply about. It did make me sad but as Bill said "we derive pleasure from seeing things that would be depressing in real life when they are well represented artistically". The writing was beautiful. Jude was such a good person although naive. Sue was too flighty for my taste but the feeling of anger at the manipulations of Arabella continued to be the primary visceral reaction I got from this. I have not often disliked a character so much.


message 11: by Jan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jan Notzon | 53 comments It is an extraordinary work. I had to put it down for a while after the murder/suicide/miscarriage. Sue's conversion (reversion?) after the tragedy rang true for me. That seems to be many people's reaction to tragedy.
I agree, Janet. Definitely some very profound issues and a scathing indictment of the social mores of the time. I was struck by how modern (not the language but the themes) it was in its view of marriage. I wonder what Hardy's reaction to society today would be with its rather cavalier attitude toward matrimony.


Janet (goodreadscomjanetj) | 77 comments Jan wrote: "It is an extraordinary work. I had to put it down for a while after the murder/suicide/miscarriage. Sue's conversion (reversion?) after the tragedy rang true for me. That seems to be many people's ..." I agree that the view of marriage is way ahead of it's time and must have been very shocking at the end of the 19th century. Even today some would take issue. I rather think that Hardy would accept today's attitude toward matrimony.


Alana (alanasbooks) | 627 comments I just read the first section, up through Arabella, the marriage, and her leaving. It's quite the setup, and while I'm sure it will be tragic by the end, thus far, I'm intrigued to see where Jude's dreams and studies will take him (physically, emotionally, occupationally),


message 14: by Jan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jan Notzon | 53 comments Alana: Hope you enjoy it. And hope you don't mind tragedy/pathos.


Alana (alanasbooks) | 627 comments I don't mind tragedy, as long as the plot moves along and there are thought-provoking elements to it.


Catherine (yarnmama10) Jude the Obscure is my favorite Hardy novel. I just recently re-read it so won't be joining the read but hope you find it good.


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