Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Annals of overwrought prose

Tess of the D'Urbervilles:
Amid the oozing fatness and warm ferments of the Froom Vale, at a season when the rush of juices could almost be heard below the hiss of fertilization, it was impossible that the most fanciful love should not grow passionate. The ready bosoms existing there were impregnated by their surroundings.
Calm down, Mr. Hardy!

Oddly, in places the novel reminds me of Moby-Dick, with its vivid and convincing depictions of manual labor in a natural setting, and the unabashed eroticism of the description. Still, to his credit, Melville never wrote anything quite as unabashed as the above.

I'm halfway through Tess, and I fear that all will not end well...

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