Spatial Aesthetics: Art as Transformative Experience in Thomas Hardy's “Poems of 1912-13”

  • Chih-chun Tang


Landscape, is something to be perceived with eyes, to be dwelled upon and to experience happiness. Getting an eyeful of places give a seasoning and spatial joie de vivre. There is more than eyes can espy, more than ears can detect. Settings and views are waiting to be explored. Things are in relation to surroundings, the sequences of events lead up the experiences and memories. The kind of vision appears in Thomas Hardy’s “Poems of 1912-13.” “Poems of 1912-13” are a series of elegies that Hardy composed after his wife Emma Gilford’s eternal rest. Although the couple had long been set at odds, howbeit, Hardy embarked on his writing adventure about Emma. He unexpectedly made a hit with the memories of their love; wherefore, the “Poems 1912-13” are personification and reproduction of Hardy’s mind. He defined the two real physical places where Emma and he used to live, id est, Cornwall and Dorset, not only as social but also psychological spaces. He inwardly overhauled and restored the spaces once familiar to him. Over and above, he dreamed up and brought his imaginary into existence with his late wife. As Hardy waved through the mental space and moved over the space of time, he also made the spaces emblematic and figurative like memorials. Like the idea of Gestalt’s theory, the couple’s life experiences are “essences or shapes of an entity's complete form.” Both the poet and the phantom (Emma) become flâneur, the stroller in Walter Benjamin's meditation on nineteenth-century Paris, who is a characteristic and exemplary figure of freshness modernity.


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How to Cite
TANG, Chih-chun. Spatial Aesthetics: Art as Transformative Experience in Thomas Hardy's “Poems of 1912-13”. Journal of Literature, Language & Culture (COES&RJ-JLLC), [S.l.], v. 1, n. 2, p. 18-27, apr. 2020. ISSN 2378-3567. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 04 aug. 2020. doi: