Show Business: Malignant Eye

THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE PBS, beginning Sept. 3

"I like the shadows," says Michael Henchard, the hero of this drama, and the viewer immediately knows where he is: in Thomas Hardy country, dark, gloomy and unrelievedly tragic. Haunted by one terrible incident in his past, Henchard proceeds to ruin his own life and the lives of nearly everyone he touches, until, like Shakespeare's Lear, the character he most resembles, he is left with nothing but his own relentless memories.

Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge is not an easy tale, in short, but it is a powerful one, as hypnotically seductive as an...

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