Country on He gave up novel writing for good after the uproar over the supposed immorality and blasphemy of Jude the Obscure. My return to re-reading The Return of the Native was originaIly motivated by investigations 1 had been making ofVictorian and modernist multiplotted novels as models of community. That formulation, it turns out, does not fit this nove!. Though the heath folk form a community, the main actions of the novel focus on a non-community of distinctive individuals who interact with one another destructively and without mutual understanding. Nor is The Return of the Native really multi-plotted. Each of the main characters, rather, has his or her own separate, and to a considerable degree private, plot. Each has a life-story that intersects destructively with those of the others, but the whole does not form an integrated plot of the sort that Aristotle had in mind in the Poetics and that he saw as exemplified by Oedipus the King. Country 2016.

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