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HRC SEMINAR: Comets, Dynasts, Immensities: Thomas Hardy, Space and Time

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Immensity and exactitude in the emergence of Modernism

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In this lecture, Prof Stevenson will explore ways that the bright comet of 1881, one of several Thomas Hardy might have witnessed, encouraged interests in the depths of the cosmos which shape Two on a Tower (1882) and later writing such as The Dynasts (1904-08). New awareness of immensities in time and space -- and of new exactitudes shaping contemporary society -- also contribute more widely to the period's imagination, and eventually to the emergence of Modernism.

Randall Stevenson is Emeritus Professor of Twentieth-Century Literature in the University of Edinburgh. His critical studies include The Last of England?: The Oxford English Literary History, 1960-2000 (OUP 2004), Literature and the Great War 1914-1918 (OUP 2013) and, most recently, Reading the Times: Temporality and History in Twentieth-Century Fiction (2018). He was a Fellow of the Humanities Research Centre in 2018.

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