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Lifes Little Ironies a Set of Tales (1894)

von Thomas Hardy

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313765,397 (3.59)12
The phrase `life's little ironies' is now proverbial, but it was coined by Hardy as the title for this, his third volume of short stories.While the tales and sketches reflect many of the strengths and themes of the great novels, they are powerful works in their own right. Unified by his quintessential irony, strong visual sense, and engaging characters, they deal with the tragic and the humorous, the metaphysical and the magical. Thecollection displays the whole range of Hardy's art as a writer of fiction, from fantasy to uncompromising realism, and from the loving re-creation of a vanished rural world to the repressions of fin-de-siecle bourgeois life.… (mehr)
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This collection of stories are linked by the Life's Little Ironies but more often pathos than just the wry humour of irony. I still enjoyed them very much, Hardy creates the places and characters in a few strokes and you want to jump in and save them from the mistakes they are making.
  amyem58 | Jul 31, 2021 |
I found the tales in this collection a bit hit or miss. Can’t remember any specifics, unfortunately, as I’m reviewing this nearly six years after reading it, but as it’s Thomas Hardy, I would like to give it a second read some time. ( )
  PhilSyphe | May 12, 2018 |
I always enjoy books of short stories where they are connected somehow, so Thomas Hardy's Life's Little Ironies was fun. Hardy shows many sides of life in the English countryside, where boys meeting girls and girls having babies are the whole point of life for most of his characters. The stories in this volume feel very much like one is hanging out with the town gossips hearing all the news. ( )
  JBarringer | Dec 30, 2017 |
This is the third book of collected short stories by Thomas Hardy. Although it is a slim volume there 8 separate tales and, if you broke A Few Crusted Characters into its component parts, that number rises to 16. According to the back cover "The tales are thematically linked by a concern with the diverse problems of marriage..." It is certainly true that the course of marriage is seldom smooth when Hardy looks into it.

Another common theme is women getting pregnant out of wedlock. I can only assume, given the prevalence of this in Hardy's work, that it was a common occurrence. This somewhat gives the lie to Victorians being prim and proper and sexless.

I was surprised to realize that two of the stories "An Imaginative Woman" and "A Tragedy of Two Ambitions" were ones I had read before. I believe they were both in Tales from Wessex which I now believe was not quite the same as Wessex Tales. Very confusing!

My favourite of all these stories is definitely the collected vignettes in "A Few Crusted Characters". Using the device of a former resident returning to Longpuddle who has to be told about people he used to know, various riders in a carrier's van tell stories. Some of them are funny, some are spooky and all are quintessentially Hardy. If you have never read Hardy before this would be a good place to start. ( )
1 abstimmen gypsysmom | Dec 3, 2013 |
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The phrase `life's little ironies' is now proverbial, but it was coined by Hardy as the title for this, his third volume of short stories.While the tales and sketches reflect many of the strengths and themes of the great novels, they are powerful works in their own right. Unified by his quintessential irony, strong visual sense, and engaging characters, they deal with the tragic and the humorous, the metaphysical and the magical. Thecollection displays the whole range of Hardy's art as a writer of fiction, from fantasy to uncompromising realism, and from the loving re-creation of a vanished rural world to the repressions of fin-de-siecle bourgeois life.

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