Phantoms and fictional persons: Hardy’s phenomenology of loss

Elaine Auyoung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The end of a narrative, which has long been recognized as a problem for literary structure, poses a problem for readers as well. In the absence of conventional methods for examining this dimension of literary experience, this essay approaches Thomas Hardy’s late lyrics as a gloss on the aesthetic and affective consequences of coming to the end of a novel. Hardy’s intricate accounts of directing one-sided attention toward insensible objects of desire, I argue, attune us to the pathos of thinking about fictional persons that continue to dwell in our minds but exist nowhere in the actual world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-408
Number of pages10
JournalVictorian Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

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© 2017 The Trustees of Indiana University.


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