Alexia Nader: A Lesson from Thomas Hardy on Sex and Drama

In writing Fifty Shades of Grey, author EL James performed a surprising act of kindness towards a classic English novel heretofore abandoned by most, excepting literature majors and BBC screenwriters. Between the vampire motifs and sex toys of Grey, the first book of a trilogy, James slipped in a handful of allusions to Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented and claimed it as an inspiration for her story. At the beginning of Fifty, the male protagonist, Christian, gives the narrator, Ana, an expensive first edition of Tess along with a card oddly quoting the book without any context. This is when Ana (and James) begin to draw tenuous parallels between Hardy’s story and their own[…]

[from Guernica magazine]

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April 1, 2013 · 10:23 am

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