Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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In a selection of Thomas Hardy's poetry, published in 1972, the editor James Gibson, writing of “In Time of 'The Breaking of Nations'”, observes that Hardy, in this poem, “comments on the permanence of such simple things as work and love. Man must cultivate the earth so that he can eat, and we will continue to fall in love. Not even the madness of war can change these basic certainties” (Thomas Hardy, Chosen Poems, ed. James Gibson, London, Macmillan Education, 1975: 81). Gibson's short note on the poem is an example of a humanist approach to literature. The approach is based on the notion that literature puts us in touch with essential, timeless truths about human experience and the human condition, and reminds us about w…

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Citation: Mousley, Andrew. "Humanism". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 May 2002 [, accessed 09 December 2023.]

1235 Humanism 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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