Susan Dean uses Hardy's own metaphor—the diorama of a dream—to interpret The Dynasts, his largest and last major composition. She shows that the poem presents a model of the human mind. In that mind is enacted an event (the war with Napoleon) and, simultaneously, the watching of that event.
The author provides a reading of the poem in visual-dramatic terms, using the diorama stage as the vehicle for the poet's field of vision. She then defines various visual dimensions, the relationships between them, and the various ways in which they can be seen and understood. Her interpretation draws on Hardy's autobiography and critical essays.
Originally published in 1977.
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Table of Contents:
- Frontmatter, pg. i
- ACKNOWLEDGMENTS, pg. vii
- CONTENTS, pg. ix
- INTRODUCTION. THE DIORAMIC VISION, pg. 1
- CHAPTER ONE. THE ANATOMIZING LIGHT, pg. 48
- CHAPTER TWO. HUMAN OUTSHAPINGS OF THE WILL, pg. 118
- CHAPTER THREE. INTERWEAVINGS OF THE WEB, pg. 198
- CHAPTER FOUR. THE PERIPHERY OF VISION, pg. 236
- BIBLIOGRAPHY, pg. 299
- INDEX, pg. 311