Friday, 21 September 2012

Clym Yeobright's face

I was passing the University bookshop in my lunch break and bought a copy of Hardy's The Return of the Native, one of my Classics Club choices.

I opened it at random, and spotted this wonderful passage:

'In Clym Yeobright's face could be dimly seen the typical countenance of the future. Should there be a classic period to art hereafter, its Pheidias* may produce such faces. The view of life as a thing to be put up with, replacing that zest for existence which was so intense in early civilisations, must ultimately enter so thoroughly into the constitution of the advanced races that its facial expression will become accepted as a new artistic departure. People already feel that a man who lives without disturbing a curve of feature, or setting a mark of mental concern anywhere upon himself, is too far removed from modern perceptiveness to be a modern type.'
I hope that, for today at least, life is not just a thing to be put up with, and that you've retained your 'zest for existence.'

Well, it is Friday after all.

*Phidias, Greek sculptor and architect (500-c.432 BC) who designed the Parthenon.

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