Thursday, February 01, 2024

A “moral Gaza” in Thomas Hardy’s “Desperate Remedies” (1871)

Reading Thomas Hardy's "Desperate Remedies" (1871) last December, I came across a phrase with a different resonance than it would have had earlier in the year. In 1835, young architect Ambrose Graye falls for one Cytherea: "After passing through three weeks of sweet experience, he had arrived at the last stage—a kind of moral Gaza—before plunging into an emotional desert. The second week in January had come round, and it was necessary for the young architect to leave town." That "moral Gaza" seemed oddly contemporary in late 2023, even as I wondered what it meant back in 1871, the time of writing, or 1835, the time of the action. (Andrew Shields, #111Words, 31 January 2024) 

No comments: