8-30 lecture Dickens

8-30 lecture Dickens - Charles Dickens(1812-1870 More than...

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Charles Dickens (1812-1870) More than anyone else, responsible for shaping our picture of Victorian London --London itself as one of the recurring “characters” in his work --the great “poet” of the city, finding out its secrets, revealing its varied, amusing and memorable characters, its little- known corners --but also always attuned to the city’s threats and temptations, and to the misery that haunted it, and in particular to the plight of the poor --London drives most plots, provides toils and stresses—but “happy endings” often involve a return to “golden age,” country under the auspices of wealthy and benevolent men --shift in balance of depictions over time; while all works show interest in reform, early works always involve carnival aspects of city variety, while later novels dwell on miseries that need addressing Next time: two recurrent themes in late fiction: FOG and circulation Today: journalistic Dickens, the tour guide of London, first introduced in his very earliest work, Sketches by Boz
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Background: --Dickens’s family moved to London when he was 3; father as a clerk, genteel lower-middle-class --At 9, disaster: father imprisoned for debt, CD sent to work for two years in a blacking warehouse—this period blighted his life but also shaped his politics and his writings --He had seen a world that most of the secure middle class
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8-30 lecture Dickens - Charles Dickens(1812-1870 More than...

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