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Friday, 18 March 2016

Cornish Cliffs- In The Footsteps of Thomas Hardy, March 2016; Beeny Cliff

The ultimate and archetypal cliff-hanger?

See David Lodge, The Art of Fiction (1992), "Suspense", on Thomas Hardy:

'A Pair of Blue Eyes (1873), was more lyrical and psychological, drawing on Hardy's courtship of his first wife in the romantic setting of north Cornwall, and was the favourite novel of that master of modern autobiographical fiction, Marcel Proust. But it contains a classic scene of suspense that was, as far as I know, entirely invented. The word itself derives from the Latin word meaning "to hang", and there could hardly be a situation more productive of suspense than that of a man clinging by his finger-tips to the face of a cliff, unable to climb to safety - hence the generic term, "cliffhanger". '

Originally published in The Independent on Sunday

O the opal and the sapphire of that wandering western sea...
As we laughed light-heartedly aloft on that clear-sunned March day.

(Beeny Cliff - poem animation)

 The far-down moan
Of the white selvaged and empurpled sea 


From the introduction to Literary Landscapes Of The British Isles, David Daiches:

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