Writing in The New Statesman, in “The paradox of fairness”, Jenny Diski, who contributed to Issue 2 of Interlitq, invokes Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy

Jenny Diski

Jenny Diski

Writing in The New Statesman, in “The paradox of fairness”, Jenny Diski, the British author who contributed prose to Issue 2 of Interlitq, invokes Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy: “In Victorian fiction, Dickens and Hardy are masters of just and unjust deserts, as innocents such as Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure become engulfed by persecutory institutions and struggle, only sometimes with success, to find the life they ought, in a fair world, to have. In Dickens, readers get a joyful reassurance after evil intent almost overcomes goodness but justice finally, though at the last moment, wins out by decency and coincidence. Hardy, in his covert modernism, offers no reassurance at all that his innocents’ day will come; his victims’ hopes and lives are snuffed out by forces such as nature and class that have no concern at all with the worth of individual lives and hopes. For both writers, however, the morally just or unjust result is usually an accident that works in or against the protagonist’s favour.

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens

Thomas Hardy

Thomas Hardy

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