Si Tessa

UPDATE:
You may read the book online, courtesy of Project Gutenberg. 

* * * *

I cannot remember how I ended up with a PDF copy of Tess of the D’Ubervilles (also, Tess of the d’Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented) by Thomas Hardy. I’ve had it for so long in my hard drive that one day, I finally decided to give it a shot. (Reading a book on my computer isn’t my cup of tea. It reminds me of work.)

Gemma Arterton and Eddie Redmayne (as Angel Clare) star in the BBC TV adaptation.

Set in rural England, the novel was published in 1891 during the time when women were expected to be virgins until their wedding day.

I guess that pretty much says what type of troubles Tess had to go through in this book. And no, she wasn’t a slut.

It’s a novel that makes you realize that English is a beautiful languageโ€”the same feeling I have for Tagalog when I read and hear balagtasan. Hardy sets a beautiful, slow pace, allowing the reader’s imagination to flourish with details of the English countryside, and most especially, his characters. Eventually, this tempo helped me appreciate little Victorian details, such as how brushing against a lover’s skin sends delightful shivers down one’s spineโ€”very titillating.

I think the story of Tess would make a great soap opera. It has all the required elements:

* !!! Spoiler Alert!!! * 
Skip to cast to avoid it

  • She’s poor
  • Her mother wants her to marry a rich, distant relative
  • The rich, distant relative turns out to be an ass who deflowers her. (I personally think it was rape, although the author, I felt, tempered Tess’ reaction.)
  • She falls in love with the son of a minister, who in turn, falls in love with her.
  • The climactic season finale: Will he accept her when he learns about her past?

The cast:

  • Sarah Geronimo in her first, coming of age (lol) role. Kung ayaw ng parents nya, si Christine Reyes na lang.
  • Luis Manzano as Alec, the rich, distant relative.
  • Piolo Pascual as the minister’s son, whose name is Angel Clare! (Becky name!) Or sige, si Gerald Anderson na lang, but this is now becoming that movie. ๐Ÿ˜›

The title: Si Tessa ng Casiguran, Ang Babaeng Walang Bahid (Isang Tapat na Paglalahad)

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