Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Wednesday 9th December - The Kiss

Blimey, it's chuffing cold this morning, isn't it?  Well, here on the south coast it is anyway.  And it's damp, so I am here on the sofa with blankets and a hot water bottle, considering if I should go and get some brownies from the kitchen.  That would involve moving the blankets.  I don't think I can be bothered.  Oh, for the lazy warmth of summer...

The Kiss (1894) Henry John Stock

There is something late summer-y about this image, like lazing in a meadow just before harvest with a rather good picnic and a handsome young man.  I wrote a post about Mr Stock some time ago, and you might remember how really really good he was...

Girl Surrounded by Ivy (no date)

Well, that's just lovely. Also, Mr Stock was a bit of a looker himself...


Good heavens! Father Christmas certainly got my letter... Moving on swiftly, the reason I like The Kiss is that it reminds me of a Thomas Hardy scene, and in fact the reason I first came across Mr Stock was because of this...


There is a hint of romance before utter tragedy about the image but that possibly is the Thomas Hardy aspect of it all.  They look happy enough now, but mark my words, one of them will be dead in the snow before you know it.  Thomas Hardy actually is full of romance, often that's the trouble.  Bathsheba was not short of romantic partners, but she picked the wrong 'un.

Many a girl has been led astray by Terrance Stamp, I'm sure...

Tess of the D'Urberville made a few mistakes in love as well...

From the 2008 version of Tess

I quite understand as I'm anyone's for a massive strawberry too. The most appallingly tragic novel of all Jude the Obscure is full of romance until the end, when it is utterly horrifying.  Mind you I think Hardy is a good fit for the brief summer kiss.  The thing about the sort of love that Stock shows us in his painting does not feel like it will last, and might even be on the wane already.  The boy leans in to kiss his love, taking her hand which covers her heart, but the girl does not seem to respond.  Has her love faded as the summer is fading? Is she thinking about her future without him? The problem with Hardy's lovers is that there is absolute acknowledgement that love is never simple, never entirely happy and often randomly fraught. Being in love is never a constant, stable thing and falling in love with a person does not automatically ensure that the object of your affection will reflect your feelings at all, let alone identically.  Where Hardy excels is in showing us the imperfection of love, the folly and pitfalls of desire and how it is a lot of work and self-awareness.  Love might be a many-splendored thing, but it can also be a right old bag of weasels.  No-one ever writes a song including that phrase though. I wonder why?

See you tomorrow...



No comments:

Post a comment

Many thanks for your comment. I shall post it up shortly! Kx