David Paroissien's A Companion to Charles Dickens PDF

By David Paroissien

ISBN-10: 1405130970

ISBN-13: 9781405130974

A significant other to Charles Dickens concentrates at the historic, ideological, and social forces that outlined Dickens’s global.

  • Puts Dickens’s paintings into its literary, historic, and social contexts
  • Traces the advance of Dickens’s occupation as a journalist and novelist
  • Includes unique essays by means of top Dickensian students on each one of Dickens’s fifteen novels
  • Explores a large diversity of themes, together with criticisms of his novels, using historical past and legislation in his fiction, language, and the impact of political and social reform
  • Examines Dickens's legacy and surveys the mass of secondary fabrics that has been generated in reaction and reverence to his writing

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Extra resources for A Companion to Charles Dickens

Sample text

The Old Man’s Tale about the Queer Client” (ch. ” Debt and imprisonment, besides parental abandonment, shame, and guilt, permeate Pickwick, and they touch the principals as well as lesser characters. Even “The travellers’ room at the White Horse Cellar is of course uncomfortable” (ch. ” Most disturbing of all is the memory (featuring the repeated incantation “Pray, remember”) of “an iron cage in the wall of the Fleet Prison, within which was posted some man of hungry looks, who, from time to time, rattled a money-box, and exclaimed in a mournful voice, ‘Pray, remember the poor debtors; pray, remember the poor debtors’ ” (ch.

Beyond quotation, however, how Dickens used the autobiographical fragment remains problematic. Three factors must be taken into account: first, the emergence of “autobiographical” material in Dickens’s novels before either the fragment or David Copperfield; secondly, the persistent recurrence of such themes long afterwards, indeed throughout his career; thirdly, the complex treatment of this material, both in the fragment and in the fiction, moving between the “accidental” and the “intended,” or what is revealed and what performed.

Where the most expressive element is the wordless break between the lines, accentuated by the gap between the colon and the dash. “George Silverman’s Explanation” may be read as “a version” of Dickens’s boyhood history of poverty, parental abandonment, withdrawal, even his emergence as a writer, but to say this much begs more questions than it answers. How could this macabre story express, or even illuminate, his experience? Surely, only elliptically and by implication, as chapter 1 does chapter 2 in the tale: most powerfully in apposition and through restricted utterance: the colon and the dash, rather than surrounding words.

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A Companion to Charles Dickens by David Paroissien

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