Visual Imagination and the Mediation of Semiosis : Intertext and the Real in Thomas Hardy's 'Jude the Obscure'
The writing of Thomas Hardy cannot be readily defined as an embodiment of the Realistic tradition. His too-liminal status as the last Victorian novelist, regional writer, and a collector of English rustics, has been vivaciously debated and contested (Miller, 1970; Widdowson, 1989; Moore, 1990; Morgan, 1992; Armstrong, 2000; Mallet, 2002; Nemesvari, 2011). This argument contributes to the debate on the relation between the real and the textual in Hardy’s last novel, Jude the Obscure (1895), which shows that Hardy’s language has features of a self-referential novel, close to the antimimetic poetics of postmodernist genres, which insists, however, on the connection with the real, where lies the inspiration for creativity and political intervention. Through the analysis of the allegorical figures of “intertexts” interwoven in the language of the novel, it will be argued that the representation of the novel registers the connection between Hardy’s visual imagination and his intention to intervene in a discursive field